TikToker Once Paralyzed From the Neck Down Hopes to Run 5K

After surgery, Chase Friedman made a choice, saying, “I embarked on an extraordinary journey filled with determination, resilience and a whole lot of flipping people off.”

Chase Friedman from Los Angeles, California, is training for a 5K even though doctors told him he could be in a wheelchair for life.

His accident happened after he tripped, fell and hit his head on the sink in a bathroom.

“I was in Philly on New Year's 2021, visiting a friend, he had a New Year's party and then 7:00 a.m the next morning I got up just to pee, barely any sleep and apparently I tripped,” he tells Inside Edition Digital. “I fell, my head hit the sink and my head snapped back and I injured C4 to C7."

“All I remember is walking into the bathroom and then waking up. They three girls around me just freaking out, there’s blood everywhere. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who they are. I was like super concussed,” he adds. “Eventually they did call an ambulance, and when they showed up, they asked the girls how long I'd been there and they said 45 minutes, which means they'd been at least 45 minutes.”

Friedman received terrible news at the hospital and needed a spinal fusion on his neck.

“It was really bad. And then after that, they say they're going to need to spinal fusion on my neck,” he recalls. “I remember when they wheeled me into surgery, I made eye contact with the anesthesiologist and I was just thinking to myself, I hope you have no idea what you're doing. I hope I go to sleep, never wake up. But I did wake up."

“The doctors came in after and they said, ‘look, we don't know what's going to happen. You might stay like this. You might regain some movement back. If that's going to happen, you have to do two things. You have to work as hard as you can in rehab and you need to do everything you can to stay positive,’” he adds.

After surgery, Friedman made a choice, saying, “I embarked on an extraordinary journey filled with determination, resilience and a whole lot of flipping people off."

“Sometimes you're in the zone. I was in the zone for three months straight. I was just happy. I was just busting my butt in rehab. It was insane. And ended up where I am today,” he says.

Friedman was in rehab for about a year.

“Eventually I felt like I kind of got to a good place and I stopped doing rehab. I was still in the gym and working out on my own, but it was in the beginning of this year when I decided I wanted to run a 5K,” he says.

This meant starting rehab all over again.

“Somehow we actually fixed it. And today, a week or two ago, I was at a track and I ran halfway around the track without stopping,” he says.

He credits “Lose Yourself” by Eminem as his motivation.

“I did the whole song. So it's really looking like it's going to be a possibility, and I'm hoping to do it maybe by the end of the year or in January,” he says.

Throughout his recovery, Friedman has had a smile on his face and a great sense of humor about his injuries.

“Just smile through the pain. I don't know. I told you they told me to be positive. So I was looking at the bright side at all times,” he says. "I was watching comedies, I was joking with the nurses. I just had to be happy. I was so grateful to be alive. I mean, the doctors told me if it had affected my neck a centimeter higher, I'd be dead. So I don't know how I did. I didn't look. I don't know how I did it, but I did it.”

Aside from the 5K, Friedman, now 27 years old, hopes to motivate and help others struggling.

“The way your brain and mind and just outlook on life has an effect on your body is huge. So you have to get your mind in the right place, even though it's the hardest time in the world to get your mind in the right place from a situation that happens to you,” he says. “Not only is that just good for you physically, but mentally proving to yourself day after day that you can go past your limits.”

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