Former football player turns tragedy into victory in “7 Yards” film

  • Chris Norton was a former football player who got a spinal injury when he was 18.
  • His life was featured in the film, “7 Yards.”
  • The film talked about how he miraculously defied the odds of being able to move again, and of having a brand-new life!

When football player Chris Norton met an injury on the field in one of his games, he thought it was just a simple accident. It turned out to be a broken spine that has since left him paralyzed. He was 18 then.

Chris was given the tiniest chance of ever regaining movement for the rest of his life.

“I had a doctor tell me, ‘Chris, you’re not going to move anything in your legs ever again,'” he said. “And thankfully I had the audacity to be like, ‘No, I am going to move something.'”

Seven years after sustaining the catastrophic injury, Chris found some good in his stubbornness to believe that he could walk again, as he walked down the aisle on his wedding day.

His story, carrying such a powerful message, is featured in the new film “7 Yards.”

The film chronicled Chris’ life from that fateful day he got paralyzed to that sentimental, winning moment when he walked his wife, Emily, down the aisle.

The film was titled “7 Yards” as it was initially a motivation Chris set to himself to walk that far – seven yards – despite the odds.

“Four yards was how far I walked for graduation, and then we figured let’s push it,” Chris said. “But then it’d also be seven years since my injury. So, seven years, seven yards. And it just felt right.”

However, Chris admitted that making the film wasn’t easy.

“Going into the reenactment, I’m thinking ‘I’ll be fine. This is not a big deal. I can do this,'” Chris recalled.

But when he reenacted everything and went back to the very beginning of his tragic past, Chris was overwhelmed with emotions — fear, pain, uncertainty.

“It was just so raw and real, thinking about my future at that moment of, ‘What will my life look like? Will I ever be happy? Will I ever meet a girl that would want to be with me?'” Chris shared.

Chris was able to overcome himself by changing his perspective and turning his tragedy into victory.

Photo Credit: 7yardsfilm/Instagram

He married his dream girl, and they both became adoptive parents to seven children.

Chris has become a motivational speaker, sharing inspiration to many people who, just like him, lost all hope once in their lives. Presently, he operates The Chris Norton Foundation, a nonprofit that helps people with spinal cord and neuromuscular disabilities.

“I’m always focused on what I can do. I have a laundry list of things I can’t do physically, but I don’t focus on that,” Chris said. “I always keep my mind on the things that I can do and what are possible, and that fills me up.”


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