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Ryan Shazier reflects on one-year anniversary of day his ‘life changed forever’

Tuesday, Dec. 4 marked the one-year anniversary of Ryan Shazier suffering a horrific spinal cord injury during a game on “Monday Night Football.” The Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker was left motionless on the field in a frightening scene, and as he notes in an emotional Instagram post, his “life changed forever” on that day.

Shazier’s powerful social media message does not focus upon the tragic nature of his injury. Instead, Shazier’s words reflect his heartfelt gratitude to all those who have supported him as he continues to make incredible and inspiring strides in his recovery.


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Today is a day to remember. Just a year ago my life changed forever. It was a scary moment for many people. I’m not going to lie, I was one of them. Ive learned this was an amazing opportunity for the Lord to show how great He is. It’s been a crazy, long journey, but it is not over yet. The best worst part about this journey that I’m on is the unknown. Day by day it’s getting better than the the day before. Today is and was a day of joy. I want to thank all of the amazing people that have been a part of this process with me, starting with the one and only Michelle. And let’s talk about my ride or die boy.. my number one son RJ knows how to keep a smile on my face. My parents and siblings have been there through the thick and thin. There was more than a million tears cried over this year, but now they are all of joy. Love you guys. My friends and teammates, man y’all don’t understand just the little things you’ve done that have pulled me from darkness to the light. To the Steelers-there’s no better organization. Thank you for being family to me. The UPMC trainers and staff for getting me back on my feet. Steelers and Buckeye Nation-your prayers and love honestly keep me going. And to the fans everywhere, I feel your support honestly everyday. CAA-thank you guys constantly for giving me amazing advice and being the best agency in the world. And Iast, but not least, I have to give Jerome Howard and Mike Micca an extra thank you for dealing with my foolishness, excuses, pain, and joy everyday. These two are with me working everyday and I cant say thank you enough to these guys. Love you all thank you so much. #SHALIEVE

A post shared by Ryan Shazier (@shazier) on

Encouraging updates have been frequent as Shazier has progressed through his challenging rehabilitation, which included spinal stabilization surgery at the onset and ultimately involved regaining movement in his lower extremities and the ability to walk. The Steelers linebacker also has been a constant, motivating presence at Steelers practices and games.

Shazier previously stated he “definitely” expects to resume his career at some point. While that outcome by no means is a certainty, his message of hope and positivity in Tuesday’s inspirational Instagram post shows Shazier undoubtedly has the right frame of mind and passion to overcome any and all obstacles that may stand in his way.