Dolphins player who lost arm in car accident details accident and recovery

Kendrick Norton doesn’t seem like the type who wants anyone to feel sorry for him.

Norton was a fairly anonymous defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins. On July 4 he was suddenly in headlines everywhere. Norton had a rollover car accident. Most of his left arm had to be amputated. His football career, obviously, was over. He almost died in the accident.

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It was horrible news, but Norton has taken a positive, upbeat approach to his new life after a near-death experience. He shared his story in a long interview with ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe.

Kendrick Norton recalls accident

Norton’s recollection of the accident is harrowing. He estimated to Wolfe that he lost about half of the blood in his body.

“When we were in the car and I was laying on my stomach trying to maneuver through the car to get to the window,” Norton told Wolfe. “And I tried to do a push up to, you know, lift myself off the ground. I fell over on the side that I was missing my arm. And that's when I realized that it wasn't there. I glanced down at it. I was like, 'Oh, snap, this is for real.'“

Norton recounted the people who stopped and helped as they waited for an ambulance. He said there were three or four belts around the top of his left arm to try and stop the bleeding. He said he felt sleepy from losing all of the blood but he kept fighting.

“Right before the ambulance came, I was like, 'I don't know if I'm gonna make it 'til they get here,’” Norton told ESPN.com.

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Former Miami Dolphins DE Kendrick Norton
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Former Miami Dolphins DE Kendrick Norton
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 08: Kendrick Norton of the Miami Dolphins looks on prior to the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 08: Kendrick Norton of the Miami Dolphins looks on prior to the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Aug 8, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton is seen prior to a game Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium. Norton lost his left arm in an auto accident. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 8, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton is seen prior to a game Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium. Norton lost his left arm in an auto accident. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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Norton: ‘It was just in the plans for me’

It’s tough to accept that at 22 years old, you’ll never play football again.

"Yes. I definitely miss football, every day,” Norton said. “Just not being in my routine, getting up early, and you definitely miss it. But I've accepted it and ready to move on.

The Dolphins are paying his full salary for the season and his medical bills have been covered by insurance.

“Always tried to keep a good, positive outlook on it,” Norton told Wolfe. “I don't usually get frustrated. I just try to find a different way to do it or even if I have to break down to ask Kira [Williams, his girlfriend] for help. She says I don't ask her for enough help. I try to do everything by myself. But that's just who I am."

Norton said he’s starting a non-profit organization, Kendrick Norton Angel's Initiative, for young amputees. He has tried to get the word out about donating blood, because that helped save his life. He said he wants to motivate and inspire others who are in a similar situation.

“I never asked why this happened to me because it could've been worse,” Norton told ESPN. “Why not me? Why someone else? They could ask the same thing. So I never would ask why me? It was just in the plans for me. I'll take it and roll with it every day."

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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