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David Wilson Says 'I Lived My Dream,' Remains Positive after Losing NFL Career

( [email protected] ) Aug 05, 2014 08:07 PM EDT
David Wilson experienced devastating news Tuesday after learning he can no longer play football due to a severe neck injury. However, he remains positive, expressing gratitude for his experience with the NFL and saying he is hopeful for the future.
New York Giants star David Wilson (AP)

Even though David Wilson was recently faced with the heartbreaking reality that his football career is over due to a neck injury, he continues to keep an optimistic outlook on life.

"I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me," he said Monday. "I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too."

The 23-year-old New York Giants running back recently met with Dr. Frank Cammisa and Giants team doctor Russell Warren who diagnosed him with diffuse cervical stenosis, a congenital narrowing of the spinal column. According to the doctors, continuing to play football with such a condition would continually put him at extreme risk.

While the news devastated the Giants, it is not altogether surprising. Last October, in the fifth game of the season, Wilson experienced a neck injury while on the field which prohibited him from playing for the rest of the year.

Last Tuesday, the third-year football player sustained a "burner" in practice losing feeling in his hands and lower extremities-the same sensation he had experienced previously.

"We let David know that by playing, he would be putting himself at risk for more episodes like last week," said Dr. Warren. "Or perhaps something more serious."

When talking to the press, Wilson expressed gratitude that his condition is not more serious.

"I'm thankful that I can literally walk away from the game and that I am healthy and capable of doing the same things I have done all my life," except play football," he said.

Team owner John Mara and GM Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin noted that Wilson has shown remarkable strength throughout the events.

"He came in my office with a big smile on his face," Coughlin said after meeting with Wilson. "Nothing that was said got him to a state of melancholy or anything. And he wasn't gonna go there. That's the impression I got."

"He's a strong young man," added Reese, "and understands that he has a lot of his life left to live and it's not worth it to him, his family or us to put his health in harm's way by continuing to play football."

While the Giants were "certainly excited" about getting Wilson back on the team for this year's football season, they had been prepared for the upsetting news, says Coughlin.

"It would be irresponsible to not think about [Wilson not playing]."

Wilson is thankful for the brief time he had living his dream, and is optimistic for the future.

"Growing up, ever since I was 8 years old, I wanted to play in the NFL. It was my dream. And I can't say that I didn't live my dream, because I did."