A year ago, life was different for Kendrick Norton, as he was preparing for NFL training camp in the same city he starred in college.
But even after losing his left arm in a July 4, 2019 car wreck, the former Dolphins defensive lineman is determined to use his story to help others.
In a moving profile by David Wilson of the Miami Herald, Norton shared his determination to help others in a number of ways since the accident which ended his NFL career.
“This was the plan for me. You never dwell on the bad because that doesn’t get anything solved,” Norton said. “I was always taught by my parents and people that raised me that being a solution person would help you get through life, so you don’t focus on problems. You focus on solutions, you’ll go through life a lot easier because when you dwell on the problem, that brings a lot of stress. … Instead, you turn around and you focus on, OK, that happened, so what can I do now? Where do we go from there?
“Life is all about your perception on things. Life is what you make of it, like people say. It really is, so if you can take the worst scenario, if you can find just a glimmer of light and cling to it, it’ll help the greatest to get through it.”
Norton is learning to get back to aspects of his former life, like fishing and riding a Jet Ski. But he’s also intent on helping others who have gone through the same trauma of losing a limb.
Since the accident, he has worked as a contributor at a local television station, is working to earn a real estate license, and has done some motivational speaking.
He also founded the Kendrick Norton Angel’s Initiative, a nonprofit group to help child amputees and his community, organizing blood drives and a food drive last Thanksgiving.
He’s also open about his experience, acknowledging the assistance he’s gotten from so many people the last year.
“I have a lot of help around me,” he said. “I have basically the whole world supporting me. Being able to just help a kid or somebody that’s going through something that doesn’t have hundreds of people trying to come to the hospital and calling, that doesn’t have that kind of support, we just wanted to find a way to help.”