College Wrestler with Spinal Cord Injury Walks During Commencement Ceremony

Dan Bishop was a good student attending the University of Buffalo in New York. He seemed to have it made: he was a college wrestler with a bright future ahead of him. In fact, he was promised a well-paying job in New York City as soon as he graduated. However, as he competed in his last 125-pound wrestling semifinals in the Mid-America Conference Championships, tragedy struck. After falling on his head and suffering a spinal cord injury, Bishop immediately underwent emergency surgery. Doctors hoped that he would walk again within a year, but Bishop surprised everyone at his college graduation—just two months after his accident occurred.

Just a week after Bishop’s surgery, his father posted a video of the young man unable to move from his bed. In fact, he was barely able to move his legs. Nevertheless, classmates and faculty alike were taken by surprise when he walked through his commencement ceremony at the beginning of this month. Despite concerns that he may have internal organ damage and diminished strength on the right side of his body, Bishop’s quick recovery is remarkable—an accomplishment attributable to his intense physical therapy.

Bishop realizes that he is lucky to be walking again so quickly and has made the most out of an emotionally and physically devastating injury. His career plans have changed as a result: instead of the high-paying job in NYC, he recently made the decision to work with high school students.