MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, was released from the hospital Thursday exactly two weeks after being rushed into emergency surgery after suffering multiple injuries in a car crash that required his left arm to be amputated.

Norton had a message as he walked out of Jackson Memorial Hospital where he had six surgeries in two weeks.

“I just want to give a big thank you to God and the Jackson Medical Center. They did a great job taking care of me while I was in here. The Dolphins family has been a lot of help. I really do have to thank them and everyone and the head coaching staff,” said Norton.

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Norton repeated what he told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench in an exclusive bedside interview a week ago.

“Everyone has given so much support and love. I thank everyone and I want to tell them how much I appreciate it and that is a big part of me being able to get out of here.”

Norton’s mother also spoke exclusively to Peter D’Oench Thursday via FaceTime.

“He’s always had a good outlook about things. He was a very easy child to raise,” said Tess Stephens adding she is very proud of her son for being so brave.

“I kind of figured he would be somber for a day longer but he was okay. He felt let’s pick up and move on. That’s how he’s been since a small child.”

An ambulance carrying Miami Dolphins defensive end Kendrick Norton arrives at Jackson Memorial Hospital following an early morning car crash. (Source: CBS4)

Norton was severely hurt the morning of July 4. 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.

WATCH: Kendrick Norton walks out of hospital

 

The Florida Highway Patrol says Norton was cited for an improper lane change and pulling out in front of a vehicle.

He told Peter in last week’s exclusive interview, “I am alive. I am able to be here and keep going and see my family. That is what is so important to see them and be here.”

His outlook always positive.

“If you have something in your glass you are okay. A lot of people have glasses with not much in them and their glasses are empty. If its half full you are okay.”

WATCH: Exclusive Interview With Kendrick Norton

 

On Wednesday, Norton posted a message on his Instagram account about how he was doing and said, “I am doing okay. I am getting out.”

Norton was a standout player for the Miami Hurricanes, and was drafted last year by the Carolina Panthers before being signed by the Miami Dolphins.

Kendrick Norton speaking after a Miami Dolphins practice (Source: CBS4)

“Coach Brian told him when you lose one game you take the pieces from that and you figure out what you need in your next game and keep moving. That has always been his attitude,” said his mother Tess.

Norton realizes he may never again play the sport he loves.

“I realize I will not be able to do that and that is being realistic but I have to move past that you know I am alive and I am grateful.”

His mother says he will never give up.

“I know my son’s future is bright because he is not a quitter. He will continue to have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

He is uplifted by everyone’s support.

“The support from the fans, all of the teams, my fans and everyone. That is what is pushing me, my faith and family.”

His mother agrees.

“That’s amazing, so many people love him. He is a sweet kid. The Dolphins association has been absolutely amazing with their support.”

The NFL is paying Norton’s medical expenses through insurance from the league and the Miami Dolphins.

His mother is from Jacksonville.

She is just now speaking out for the very first time because she told me she wanted to focus on her son’s recovery and that has been her mission for the last two weeks.

 

Peter D'Oench

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