Tennessee courage award winner Jefferey Cox ‘a normal kid’ despite paralysis from football tackle

ERIN, Tenn. — Jefferey Cox considers himself a normal teenager.

Being confined to a wheelchair after being paralyzed while making a tackle last fall during a preseason high school football scrimmage hasn't changed his outlook on his life or his future.

Cox fractured his C1 and C2 vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors aren't sure if the paralysis is permanent.

X-rays show bruising around the spot where the C1 and C2 vertebrae went out of place, then back in when the injury occurred.

Because it is a bruise and the spinal cord is not severed, there is hope he could get at least some feeling back. However, doctors have told Cox and his family it could be up to two years before they know the severity of the injury from the bruising.

Cox's mom, Alicia Parker, said her son has shown some improvement. He has some muscle reaction in the back of his neck when he shrugs. 

Cox now has head control and can keep his head up on his own, something he couldn't initially do.

Also, he sweats below his injury, something doctors have told the family he shouldn't be able to do because of the paralysis.

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