LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After a life-altering accident, a Louisville man has a new lease on life, taking each day one step at a time.

Just days after retirement, Chris Jackson was on his way to a University of Louisville football game in 2018 when he was in a bad crash that turned his life upside down.

"That was my opportunity to retire and just go ahead and enjoy my life and bam it was over just like that. I didn't have any idea my life would be this way," Jackson said.

He found out he had a spinal cord injury and lost all movement from the neck down. After he was released from the hospital, Jackson started therapy at Frazier Rehab. It took a long time and a lot of effort, but finally, a sign of hope came.

"Finally one morning my finger twitched. One of the nurses saw my finger twitch and asked me to do it again. I couldn't do it again. I was trying with every muscle in my body to move. Then, it twitched again. She looked at me and said, 'this is your new beginning,'" Jackson said.

Later on, he was able to do the same thing with his leg. While it's exciting for the patient, the staff at Frazier Rehab gets excited to see this kind of progress too.

"We get really excited. We try to keep it into perspective. I said 'okay, we need to enhance this' because we do know when the patient starts moving when they are here in rehab, the chance to improve the physical prognosis is exponential," Frazier Rehab Dr. Camilo Castillo said. 

Jackson said it hasn't been an easy road to recovery, but it's worth the push as he can now walk with crutches.

"I kind of want to encourage people. I have a lot of people tell me 'Mr. Jackson, you are my inspiration. I want to do it just like you.' I say well buddy you are in for a ride but don't fall off. Even if they knock you down, sometimes you have to find a way to get back up," Jackson said.

Whether he gets back to 100 percent or not, Jackson will continue moving forward one step at a time.