Paralyzed Athlete Inspires Others - NBC 7 San Diego

Paralyzed Athlete Inspires Others

Paraplegic starts Foundation to help others with spinal cord injuries.



    Paralyzed Athlete Inspires Others
    The sky is the limit -- as it always has been for Eric Northbrook, who was paralyzed in an accident just hours after this photo was taken.

    In a fraction of a second, Eric Northbrook's life changed forever. On Jan. 27, 2006, Northbrook was thrown from his motorcycle during a ride with some friends in Baja California.

    "When I came to, I knew something was really wrong," Northbrook said. "I couldn't move my legs and I was in severe pain."

    Northbrook's spine was severed at the T7 vertebra, which resulted in paralysis from the chest down. He may have broke 10 ribs and fractured his skull, but from the moment of the crash, Northbrook vowed to fight for his life.

    Fast-forward four years: Northbrook vows to make a difference in the life of others who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

    Paralyzed Athlete Inspires Others

    [DGO] Paralyzed Athlete Inspires Others
    Eric Northbrook, paralyzed in dirt bike accident, is "busy living, rather than dying."
    (Published Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010)

    Northbrook started the HeadNorth Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing assistance to spinal-cord-injury survivors.

    "We want people to feel good about themselves and have confidence in themselves, and we want them to be active in the community," Northbrook said.

    The foundation is focused on meeting the transitional needs of those who's lives have changed in a fraction of a second.

    "For a foundation like HeadNorth -- basically, they're paying for me to get the training that I need every week, personal training that I can't do on my own," said Ashley Sisti, who was paralyzed after falling off a horse.

    Northbrook, who likes to say he's "busy living, rather than dying," leads by example. On any given weekend, he's out playing golf or riding his handcycle up and down the coast. During the winter, he skis,

    "Life is not over just because you have this injury," Northbrook said. "You can still achieve and make a difference out there."

    In these tough economic times, Northbrook is looking for volunteers and donations.