Abbott: Injury has taught perseverance, made me a fighter - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Abbott: Injury has taught perseverance, made me a fighter


Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott grew up in Longview, just like any other normal kid, but then an accident when he was 26-years-old left him partially paralyzed from the waist down.

It is a part of life he is not shy about. In fact, Abbott even jokes about it at campaign events.

"You've heard politicians before talking about having a spine of steel," he said. "I really do have a steel spine that i will put to work for you and all Texans every single day."

The then 26 year-old Abbott had gone for a run in Houston when the accident happened; an oak tree suddenly fell right on top of him.

It is something he is very open about. His team even produced a campaign video to explain the story, a tragedy that took him from a healthy and athletic young man, to permanently paralyzed below the waist and recovering in the hospital.

In fact, the event is had such an impact on his life, he made his campaign announcement on the 29th anniversary of the accident.

His ability to overcome, he credits largely to his wife, Cecilia.

"For better or for worse, in sickness and in health. It's so easy to recite them, but it is awe inspiring to see your spouse live up to those vows, which is exactly what Cecilia Abbot has done," Abbott said.

It has also been something he has learned from.

"I have been able to persevere over tough challenges," Abbott said. "I have cemented in me the same spirit that all Texans have and that is, we take on all those fights and that is because we have strength from within."

A trait he said he has applied to his work in government as well.

"Ive been a fighter, for the values of our communities, for what makes Texas unique," Abbott said. "We need to carry on that tradition of strong leadership in Austin, Texas, to keep Texas different from the growing bureaucracy we see in Washington D.C."

Abbott added that he lives by the motto that lives are not defined by the hour one is challenged, but by how one responds to the challenges one faces.

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