In early 2021, the life of 7-foot-6 Latter-day Saint and 1993 No. 2 NBA draft pick Shawn Bradley drastically changed after a biking accident left him left him paralyzed from his rib cage down.
Now he and his family are navigating their new normal together and learning how to rely on and take care of each other even more. But his new challenges have not kept them from finding joy.
“It’s not just me that was affected,” Bradley told KSL.com “But I don't think our happiness is determined [by] the accident. There’s a lot of things that we’ve got to deal with that are different, but you can still be happy. You can still find joy in the journey and find joy in what we’re doing. It’s just different.”
Bradley also said that his situation has taught him true humility, as his doctors and nurses have had to rewrite the books on care in order to help someone of his size. His wife Carrie and their three kids have also had to put in a lot of extra work to help him with everyday tasks and mobility challenges.
Shawn’s wife, Carrie, has still been able to see the positive in a very difficult situation. She kept a “happy journal” on her cell phone during Shawn’s five-month stay in a St. George hospital.
She told KSL.com that their family’s life now is definitely different and has it challenges. “We could sit around and mope all day—which, there’s days that we do, we’re human—but, we could also do something bigger and better, and go meet people, and hear stories, and share stories, and just help someone. If we can help one person, that would be amazing and that’s all worth it right there.”
But when asked if he ever got angry with God or asked ‘Why me?’, Bradley’s response was undeniably positive. “I'll tell you what, I’ve never been angry with God about this. That’s just not my relationship with him, it never has been. It’s been more along the lines of, ‘OK, if you ask me to do this then you gotta help me through it. Because I can't do this alone.’”
Shawn’s primary dreams for the future involve his family. “[I want] my family to grow stronger and closer as we move through life, that we do good along the way, and hopefully be a good example to others.”
You can watch the full video from KSL.com in the player below.