Living his faith: DeKalb Co. teen paralyzed in 4-wheeler accident breaks state, national track and field records

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CROSSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Determination and faith go a long way in living a life people -- experts in this case -- said could never happen. A DeKalb County teen didn't accept limits when his life changed, and now he's far exceeded all expectations, even on a national level.

Faith is a foundation in many communities in DeKalb County. In the small town of Crossville -- at the high school specifically -- faith has a living example.

Nick Walls lives by a few simple but strong words.  "Philippians 4:13. I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me," he recites promptly.

Those are words the Crossville High School junior carries through life, where sports have always been a dream.

But in an instant, Walls' plans and his whole world changed.

"July 2, 2014 I had a four-wheeler accident. I was going down a mountain and my brakes went out, and I hit a tree dead on," Walls said. "I shattered my vertebrae, and fractured three ribs, and my left lung collapsed. I was paralyzed from the waist down for about a month."

After a while, some feeling started coming back. "I can walk with a walker, cane, and crutches now, and the doctors never expected me to take a step," Walls said with a smile.

He still uses his chair to get around, but he defied another 'never'.

Track Coach Randy Haynes' title is relatively new. The school didn't have a team until recently. Thinking sports was out of the question, Walls joined up, hoping to be able to regain a glimpse of an activity he loved before July, 2014.

He conquered the odds.

"He holds three state records, State of Alabama, two national records he broke in Madison, Wisconsin this year," Coach Randy Haynes told us. "We started in January of this past year. He did all this as a sophomore."

All of those medals aren't the only recognition Walls is getting. "We're now talking with the U.S. Paralympic team," Haynes says.

Courtesy Jeremy Jackson/WHNT News 19Haynes added from the beginning, Walls, whose faith is as strong as his will, didn't quit. "Couldn't ask for a better kid or a better athlete," Haynes said.

He continues to defy odds and head toward a dream. "I can do anything I want to as long as I give it all I've got," Walls said.

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