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An accident paralyzed him. But it didn't take his sense of adventure.

An accident paralyzed him. But it didn't take his sense of adventure.
Posted at 8:49 PM, Aug 12, 2022

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — From the very beginning Will Biringer has always been on the go. The Midlothian native prefers tagging along with Mother Nature.

“Everything I did as an outlet was outdoors, long boarding, fishing and hunting,” said Will. “I feel like a shark in water if I like get stagnant and don’t move.”

Will joined the JROTC at James River High School. Following graduation he joined the military.

“So I enlisted in the Navy September 9, 2018,” said Will.

Three years in, the future corpsman found himself on the receiving end of help.

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On July 4, 2021, the 23 year old’s life changed in an instant while stationed in Illinois. Will fell off a friend’s balcony three stories up.

“I hit my head. Broke four ribs. Punctured a lung and shattered two vertebrae,” said Will.

Will’s life hung in the balance.

“I did. I died twice,” said Will. "I think it was once on the ground I died and once in the back of the rig. And they brought me back.”

The sailor was alive, but he was paralyzed from the waist down.

“That is what really did me in. You know it wasn’t pretty. It doesn’t take a trained eye to see what went wrong there,” said Will as he examined X-Rays of his injury.

He spent days in the hospital and months in rehab.

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“They kind of kept me moving and kept me moving, so I never had a chance to think about it. Which I think is good.”

Back in Chesterfield, adjusting to his new normal has been a physical and mental adjustment.

“I think it comes in waves like a lot of grief can do,” described Will. “You just kind of deal with it day by day.”

One activity he misses most is dancing.

“Me and my friend Maggie would country two-step all of the time. I was laying in bed that night and I was like dang. I’m not ever going to be able to do that again,” said Will.

But he is discovering an entirely new way to keep moving on wheels.

“It is a good way to get out and do stuff, and it’s competitive. It kind of like it pushes you,” said Will.

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Will discovered Sportable — a nonprofit that makes sports accessible for athletes like Will.

Will’s sport of choice Lacrosse.

“I look forward to Mondays every single day,” said Will.

The physical sport keeps Will’s competitive juices flowing.

On this team, Will has found a home and like-minded friends like Addison Johnson.

“He is funny. He jokes a lot. I definitely enjoy playing with him,” said Addison. “He already has stick skills from being in the chair, he has chair skills so he makes a great teammate.”

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Coach Nicholas Whiteside admires Will’s ability to overcome his disability.

“He wants to be stronger. He wants to get better. He wants to get faster. Each week he has,” said Coach Whiteside. “But yeah you would not know he’s adapted so well. He tries so hard. And he works so hard at it. It is pretty amazing.”

“It is nice to have all of these guys around you. I’m still learning tips of the trade,” said Will.

The outlet is proving to be a lifesaver for this new lacrosse player.

“I feel like I’ve come a little bit. Not a lot but a little bit,” said Will. “It gets easier. It gets way easier.”

He may be getting from point A to B a little differently, but Will Biringer is thankful that he is able to keep moving through life.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without a sport,” said Will. “With Sportable TGIM every day. It is beautiful.”

In addition to playing Lacrosse with Sportable, Will also trains at Samaritans Walk which is a gym in Ashland that trains clients with spinal cord injuries.

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