On October 16, 2010, just six weeks into Norton’s freshman year at Luther College in Decorah, Washington, when he was on the football field for a game against Central College. In the third quarter, he mistimed a play — one that he had been trained to do thousands of times before — which caused the 18-year-old to suffer a spinal cord injury.
After being airlifted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, he was told that he had fractured his C3-C4 vertebrae and had a three percent chance of ever moving anything below his neck ever again.
When he got back to school after grueling hours spent in therapy, Chris’s biggest struggles and fears weren’t just caused by his physical limitations. He wondered if he’d ever find his “dream girl” who would want to spend her life with him.
It wasn’t long after setting up an online dating profile in August 2013, that he matched with Emily Summers.
It also didn’t take long for Chris to express to Emily that he wanted to become physically strong enough to make his way across the stage at his college graduation in May 2015.
The night before the walk, Norton proposed and the next morning as an engaged couple they walked across the stage together as 3,000 people cheered them on. That video was seen by more than 300 million people around the world.
Watch that video HERE
Read more about Chris and Emily at People.com