EMT in Union County Beating the Odds

KELLY TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A young man from Allenwood spent the last few years helping others as an EMT. Recently he was paralyzed in a car accident.

Mateo Marshall lifts weights at the Lewisburg YMCA. It may not seem like much, but for the 19-year-old from Allenwood, it's a huge accomplishment. Four months ago, Mateo did not know if he would ever walk again. On August 4, he got into a car accident on his way to work.

"I hit this post and then a tree trunk and I flew they said about 60, 70 feet," Mateo said.

Mateo had a spinal cord injury and was briefly paralyzed from the neck down.

"I was wiggling my toes which was the only thing I had for two days," Mateo said.

Mateo is a junior at Bloomsburg University studying pre-med and he is an EMT. But after the accident, doctors told him he may never walk again.

But Mateo would not settle for that. He made it his goal right then and there to run a 5K.

After undergoing several surgeries, and months of physical therapy, Mateo has regained the ability to walk again. He trains at the Lewisburg YMCA several times a week. On Thanksgiving, he walked a 5K in Williamsport. He is training for another one in January.

"I'm going to run this one. I don't want to do any run-walk," Mateo said.

"To see what he's done since his injury, the determination he's had, is an inspiration to me," Pastor Jilline Bond said.

Jilline Bond has been Mateo's pastor since he was a child.

"He truly trusts in God that has given him a miracle, because to be alive is the first miracle, but not to be paralyzed is a major miracle for him," Bond said.

Mateo says his faith is what got him through his initial diagnosis.

"If you have belief in faith I would say that's all you really need," Mateo said.

Now Mateo hopes to help others who are in his position.

"Your faith in God is, in my opinion, the most important thing to have, and just not to give up," Mateo said.

Mateo is determined to run a 5K next month and go back to work in February.

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