Tribute to Tolbert | Arkansas Blog

Tribute to Tolbert



Arkansas Sports 360's Jim Harris, who was in the pressbox the night that North Little Rock football star Kenyana Tolbert suffered the injury that left him a quadriplegic, pays tribute today to Tolbert, who died Wednesday night. He'd barely survived medical complications in 2007, an episode with infections so severe that friends left the hospital believing he'd died.

A quadriplegic lives on borrowed time, it seems. One is reminded of Chucky Mullins, the Ole Miss player who was paralyzed making a tackle in a game with Vanderbilt, and how he inspired so many afterward but lived less than two years after the injury.

 From the moment Tolbert was injured making a tackle in his last regular-season football game for the Charging Wildcats in 1997, every day seen as a blessing, a relative said. He barely survived the actual hit, but he learned to adjust to his situation. Though he had no use of his arms or legs and breathed though a ventilator, he lived life the best he could. He received a college education from UALR. He adapted like all of us to the changing world of communication and would regularly email his friends through the next 11 and a half years.

 Wednesday, Tolbert's battle ended in a local hospital. He was 29 years old.

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