SEATTLE — One year to the day, former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette is standing tall.
“A year ago today, I was laying in a bed not knowing if I would ever walk again and not knowing if this was my last day. Now that I can’t help them on the field anymore, it’s my turn to help the 12th man,” Lockette said Tuesday night.
It was a hit in Dallas that almost ended his life. And for the man, known as “Rocket,” it did end his football career.
After suffering severe disc and ligament damage in his neck, Lockette retired from football. The pain of the injury and the scars are behind him now.
“Whatever he touches is going to be special and I’m just lucky to be a part of it,” said Coach Pete Carroll.
“We just want to show that support and let him know that we are here for him,” said Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse.
Lockette said that is exactly what teammate Marshawn Lynch did the day of his injury. Instead of flying back with the team, Lockette said, Lynch stayed by his side in Dallas to comfort his friend. And he was there again by his side Tuesday night.
“This shows you that we love our brothers. We love each other,” said Lockette.
Everyone came together to celebrate the kickoff of the Seattle Science Foundation’s Spinal Cord Injury Research.
Doctors are on the brink of creating a three-dimensional map of the human spinal cord, giving medical professionals around the world better understanding and paralyzed patients the chance to possibly walk again.
“We can do this, actually, we can leapfrog what other labs have worked on and really make an immediate impact on patients,” said Dr. Jens Chapman.
It’s a giant leap for medicine, launched by a Seattle superstar. You could call it “Rockette” science. You could also call it the biggest play of Lockette’s life.
“You can overcome adversity. Anything is possible if you have a great support system. If you have a positive mind, the world is yours,” said Lockette.