Spirit of Alabama: Joey Martin - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Spirit of Alabama: Joey Martin

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Unless you’ve experienced a life-changing physical tragedy, you probably can’t imagine what it is like to lose something as precious as your mobility.

Joey Martin has had such an experience. However he refuses to be identified by his physical challenges.

Joey is 54 years old, and the last time he took steps on his own was May of 1981. The incident happened in Shallow Creek in Chilton County.

“It was Memorial Day weekend and we were just fooling around there in the creek, and I was gonna do a real shallow dive out into the creek,” said Joey. “I remember thinking just sort of a belly buster type thing and the next thing I know I was pushing myself up off of the bottom. The water was so shallow; I could still push myself off the bottom and breathe and still be able to get my head above water."

Joey was taken to the hospital with broken vertebrae in his back. He spent more than two years in rehab and recovery.

The life he lives now is a true testament to his will and determination.

Joey has competed in several state, regional and national swimming competitions.

He’s even invented a special contraption that helps him move from his wheelchair to his bike that he operates with his hand.

Mike Royer visited with Joey recently as he recalled that tragic day and talked about how he’s adjusted and continues to live life to the fullest.

Watch the full story by clicking on the video link above.

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