Houston Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett feels fortunate to be alive and is determined to continue the significant progress he's already made in the five weeks since sustaining a severe spinal cord injury.
"I have shown significant progress in my recovery," Everett said Wednesday, in a statement released by Memorial Hermann/TIRR, where the player has spent the past three weeks in rehab. "But I am also fully aware that the recovery from this type of injury I have sustained is filled with many peaks and valleys.
"While the road to recovery is long and hard, I am determined to fight through it each and every day."
The comments were Everett's first since he was hurt while making a tackle during Buffalo's season opener against Denver on Sept. 9. They came days after Everett was able to take a few first steps with the assistance of a walker, and had developed enough strength to use his feet to push himself around in a wheelchair.
Referring to those accomplishments as "great triumphs," Everett added: "I maintain a positive attitude and feel fortunate every day that I am alive and well."
Everett also thanked his family, friends, doctors and fans for their support, saying he was "deeply humbled."
Doctors described Everett's injury as life-threatening, and feared he would never walk again after he arrived at Buffalo's Millard Fillmore Hospital paralyzed from the neck down. The prognosis changed a few days later when Everett began showing voluntary movement first in his legs and then his hands.
Everett was transferred to Houston because doctors felt it was important for him to be close to his family and friends. The player makes his offseason home in Houston and grew up in nearby Port Arthur, Texas.