SPECIAL REPORT: Once paralyzed Auburn High coach now walks sidelines

SPECIAL REPORT: Once paralyzed Auburn coach now walks sidelines

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A trip one Alabama high school coach made dozens of times changed his life forever - but never stopped him from coaching the sport he loves.

Auburn High School's defensive coordinator Jacy Todd was paralyzed from the waist down following a car accident in 2012.

"I started my coaching career at Daphne High School" Coach Todd explains. "On Aug. 1, 2012, I was headed to the game field to cut the game field. A young man that was turning on the interstate clipped the back of my Tahoe and I was ejected."

Following his accident, Coach Todd was taken to the University of South Alabama Medical Center. For 30 days, he was in an unconscious state. 

"When I woke up, the doctor comes and tells me that I am paralyzed from the chest down and that I will never get anything below my injury level," says Todd.

After receiving his diagnosis, Todd's wife began searching for answers, she found the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

"That place is amazing," Todd said. "Through that process, I was able to first move a toe, then engage a quad, then my hamstrings. I was lucky enough that they were able to teach me how to stand and kind of go from that point."

Following extensive therapy, Coach Todd returned to Daphne High School to coach and teach. 

"That was my motivating factor to get back with my kids, not just my football kids but my teaching kids," says Coach Todd. 

His condition continued to improve after returning to Daphne. Coach Todd now walks the sidelines at Auburn High School, staying just behind the Friday night action.

"This has been the best thing to ever happen to me - hands down. The perspective I have received from this is unbelievable," Todd said. "Every day I have is a good day because I have seen what a truly bad day is and none of these days compare to that."

While some may feel bad for Coach Todd, he wouldn't change a thing about his life.

"The opportunity to get up and go to work every day, the opportunity to do all the things we can do every day that we get frustrated with," Todd said. "I lost all that frustration. I know how truly blessed we are every day to do the things we are supposed to do."

Copyright 2016 WTVM. All rights reserved.