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April 26th, 2011
10:31 AM ET

Human Factor: For budding NFL player, hope after tragedy

It is a blessing to be able to share my story with the world, because based on what happened to me, no one would have thought I would have made it. I am so thankful that I have my life after such a freak car accident.

This accident was the biggest life changing moment I have ever faced. Each and every day I thank God for saving me. I do not look at my accident as the most terrible thing in the world, but I think of it as my testimony for myself and others. You will always have ups and downs, but when you feel like life has just completely run over you, you have to work your hardest to prove your mind wrong.

It is never the end.  There is always a new beginning. All my life football was my main focus. I always knew I was going to make it to the pros. Finally after 21 years of hard work my dream came true. April 2010 I was drafted by the New York Giants. I felt like I was the luckiest man in the world. I was so excited I couldn't keep still.

Shortly after the NFL draft I attended rookie mini camp. My girl, Jade,  and son, Chad, Jr., were able to spend half the time with me in New York  so I had my family with me and we were all living and experiencing a new life. We headed back to New Orleans to finally celebrate with my friends and the rest of the family. I was excited because I knew I had a brand new car waiting for me at home and I couldn't wait to drive it.

The first day home my friends and I decided to go out and just have a good time enjoying my new car. We spent half the night talking and just being happy about my accomplishment. We headed home after a long night. That is when my life took a turn for the worst. In a matter of seconds my career came to a halt. Initially so many thoughts were running through my head. I thought I had a broken leg and I would have to sit out a few games. I had no idea how seriously damaged I was. I woke up in a hospital bed with tubes coming from everywhere. I immediately panicked.

My family was there confirming how serious my accident was but also assuring me that I would get through it and everything would be OK. I spent a little over a month in the hospital thinking about what I was going to do. I was told I might never walk again. Not once did Jade leave my side. She was there every step of the way and did everything in her power to keep a smile on my face. She forced me every day to have faith that God would bring me through this tough experience.

To this day I am not 100% back, but I am extremely better. I can move and do things people never would have guessed I could based on what I went through. I am so blessed to have so many people on my side and to have so much support. I am so sure that I will be back on the field sooner than anyone can imagine. Life can tear you down, but you always have to have a strong mindset and have the faith to get through any and everything.

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soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Allie

    Good luck! What an amazing story, and heart. Keep at it – you will accomplish your dreams.

    April 26, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Dr Bill Toth

    I too had a life changing accident....and one of the things I learned from it was that "It's NEVER what happens to you, it's ALWAYS what you DO about it that maaters" . Along with "Within every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater opportunity". Live With Intention, DrBillToth.com/blog

    April 27, 2011 at 07:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Lester Jones

    Chad, you can have all the talent to play sports, but one freak accident that may have appear to take a stab at a part of you that was all so dear does mean the end is near. There are many things that defind you as a person. I loved sports and I to had it taken from me, but permanently. Now to dwell on it is trully absent without thought, The thought that I became a great husband,father and community leader, Chad good luck and I wish you all the success. I have been asked a many times, were we related. You resemble me, particulisrly when I was your age, and that is probably because your mother is a distant cousin of mind.

    April 27, 2011 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hassan

      you are as dumb as a bowl of rocks on a hot day in the sun through the sky showers

      April 27, 2011 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  4. Brent Bennett

    Chad, your a remarkable athlete. Your the type of player that makes us fans proud wear this purple and gold. I kno in my heart u'll come back strong and finish out your dreams. Maybe even do both like the great Bo Jackson. Thanks for keeping the dream alive. GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!

    April 27, 2011 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. John Bowers

    This is an amazing athlete. I am a big LSU football fan and Chad is my favorite player. Pray that he gets back to the field soon!!

    April 27, 2011 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Name*DSelf

    God obviously has a greater plan for Chad. God reveals himself everyday through people like Chad jones. Geaux chad trust god!!

    April 27, 2011 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. The Frog

    God bless, may you return to form and pursue your dreams! We Giants fans will keep you in our prayers; we believe in you.

    April 27, 2011 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Philip Marler

    Do not ever question why God sends a challenge as we will never understand why. Just have faith that He will never send a challenge or burden we cannot surmount. Faith can indeed move mountains.

    April 27, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Chad in 'Boken

    That's great news bro! The Lord has some "special plans" for you and I believe you'll be playing a huge role on my NY Giants for many years to come!!!

    April 27, 2011 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jervis Paul Daigle

    Chad, God bless you and I pray that you make it back. In 1973 , on the last play of our last practice before we were to leave for the Orange Bowl to play John Capaletti, the Heisman trophy winner that year, Imade a crak back block from my WR position on Warren Capone. The result was when I hit him running full speed with left shoulder the momentun of the hit reverberated through my left side of my body ripping the pelvis part out of my kidney. I was treated as as a piece of meat and then rushed to the Baton Rouge General where I under went two surgeries to save my life.
    After this accident my real friends surfaced to help me rehabilitate and my pseudo-friends called groupees were no where to be found. My main point here is for you to listen to those who love you, hit your knees often, and fill your environment with people of faith who keep telling you what you can do and not what you cannot do. I recovered from the kidney thing to have to face damage caused by the many concussions I exposed myself to without knowing the real consequences of closed head injuries. Believe me head injuries can result into a lifetime of traumatic experiences. I am alive and kicking only by the grace of God and for the love of my only child, Jay. So keep on truckin, brother in God.

    April 27, 2011 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Rick James

    FYI your god isnt real. So please don't tell me what to do.

    April 27, 2011 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Tom

    Chad, I am a huge GIANTS fan, and I hope you can make it all the way back and play for us soon.

    The progress you have made is inspirational and you are setting a great example to many of us. Push through adversity, work hard, keep the end goal in mind.

    If you never play a down of Pro Football, I predict that your life will still be a very rich one, you will be a success in whatever you choose to do.

    Jade is a keeper, don't ever let her go.

    April 27, 2011 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Dane Davis

    Get well soon, chad. Everyone in br is pullin for you. People like Rick James over here could never survive what youve been through. You can do this, your the dreadlocks of doom. Geaux Tigers.

    April 27, 2011 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jueceman

    If you get drafted by the Giants, something will happen to your legs. If you get drafted by the bengals, you will go to jail. I don't know, maybe there's a trend here.

    April 30, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lsudaboss

      Hope you sll the well and in my prayers from a huge LSU fan!!

      May 4, 2011 at 02:03 | Report abuse |
  15. reed morton

    Good story. I am an LSU & Giants fan. Wishing him the best. One great football player. I also loved watching him pitch in relief as a Tiger. Sicker dogs than him have got well. Best wishes.

    May 8, 2011 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.