MIAMI (CBSMiami) — For the first time since a horrible accident on a South Florida highway one week ago, injured Miami Dolphins football player Kendrick Norton is speaking out.
In an exclusive interview with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, the 22-year-old Kendrick Norton said he realized his dream of playing professional football was over after losing his left arm following the accident but he is trying to make the most of his life and appears to have a remarkable attitude.
With his grandparents and father and sports agent at his bedside inside the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Norton said, “I am ok. I am as comfortable as I can be with the situation. I am doing fine and the best I can.
“I am staying strong because all of the support from all of the fans, all of the teams, my family and everyone. That is what is pushing me, my faith and the support from my family, my grandparents, my sports agent. Everyone is going above and beyond with nothing in return. Just to see people who have been supporting me is just great.”
CBS4’S HANK TESTER REPORT ON KENDRICK NORTON:
Norton was injured in an accident that happened at 1:18 a.m. on the morning of July 4th.
The Florida Highway Patrol says his Ford F-250 truck was going from the 836 Expressway westbound towards the northbound ramp to the 826 Expressway when his truck sideswiped a Maserati and then hit a concrete barrier and flipped over.
On Thursday, FHP announced that Norton had been cited for an improper lane change and pulling out in front of a vehicle.
Because attorneys are involved, Norton and his sports agent did not want to discuss the accident.
But Norton who is a Jacksonville native looks on the bright side.
“I am alive,” he said. “To be here, I am alive. One thing keeps me going and that is that I am still able to be here. Seeing my family is so important. It is very good that I have this support system. It keeps me strong and it keeps me tall.”
“But I realize that I will not be able to play for anyone,” he added. “We are working past that you know. That reality is sinking in. I am alive and I am grateful. Now I want to organize a blood drive.”
He agrees with the saying that the glass is not half empty. It is half full.
“If you have something in the glass,” he said, “you are ok. A lot of people have glasses with not much in them or glasses that are empty. So if your glass is half full, you are ok.”
WATCH: Full Interview With Kendrick Norton
The National Football League has announced that is paying for Norton’s medical expenses through insurance from the league and the Dolphins.
Norton is focusing on his recovery and is not sure how long he will be at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
He said he has a GoFundMe page for additional expenses.