Fort Worth

Man Who Was Paralyzed at Fort Worth Football Game Shares Journey of Acceptance in New Book

"Once you accept it, the sky's the limit," Ollie "Babe" Garza says.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

We find something good in the story of a man paralyzed decades ago in a high school football game in Fort Worth. Yet, instead of "why me?" Ollie "Babe" Garza has lived his life asking "why not me?"

Why Not Me is the name of his new book that shares the story of the 1978 football injury that put him in a wheelchair. 

Garza was 14 when a routine play on opening kickoff during a homecoming football game changed his life forever.

He broke his neck, and the injury left him a quadriplegic, yet Garza refused to give up.

He graduated on time with the Class of 1982 at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School in the Fort Worth ISD. 

He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, got his driver license, played on a quad-rugby team and worked in corporate America.

Garza says after more than 40 years, it was time to share his eight keys for turning tragedy into triumph.

"If I can help one person, I did my job. It doesn't matter you had stroke or a bad accident," Garza said. "Once you accept it, the sky's the limit. But here's the catch, you have to accept it before you can move on. And once you do that, and you embrace the process, the sky's the limit."

He gives credit to his parents and his brothers for pushing him to do things he never thought possible.

Garza hopes to continue to share his story as motivational speaker.

Contact Us