Why is Governor Greg Abbott in a Wheelchair?

Many Texans ask why Governor Greg Abbott is in a wheelchair. His story is one of triumph over tragedy.

On a summer day in July 1984, Governor Greg Abbott, a 26-year-old recent law school graduate, decided to take a break from studying for the bar exam by going for a jog in a west Houston neighborhood as he’d done many times before. While out running, a large oak tree along his path cracked and fell on Governor Abbott’s back, leaving him forever paralyzed from the waist down.

After being rushed to the hospital, doctors discovered several crushed vertebrae splintering into his spinal cord, broken ribs, and damage to vital organs.

As he lay in a hospital bed, throttled with incomprehensible pain, doctors worked to piece his vertebrae back together. They inserted two steel rods near his spine, which will remain there for the rest of his life. During his harrowing recovery process, Governor Abbott was reminded of lessons he’d learned all his life, especially the lesson of perseverance.

Through this experience, Governor Abbott learned that our lives aren’t defined by our challenges. Instead, we define our lives by how we respond to those challenges. His triumph over tragedy shows that Governor Greg Abbott doesn’t back down from challenges, but uses his lessons in perseverance to overcome them.

While some politicians talk about having a spine of steel, Governor Abbott actually has one. He’ll use his steel spine to fight for you and for every Texas family!

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