Former Central Florida football player paralyzed after injury finds passion in music

DJ Myers is a local music artist who, as a teenager, faced a major battle. He was seriously injured on a football field in 2017.

Myers was left paralyzed and in a wheelchair, but after all these years, he’s never given up.

Now, through music, he’s on a mission to inspire others.

"I remember I was on the ground and I couldn’t move not an inch of my body, could barely speak. They kept telling me to get up because I usually get hurt, but I hop back up," Myers said. 

Except that time, he didn’t. Six years ago, the 22-year-old's life flipped upside down.

"I kept saying I can’t move I can’t move," Myers said.

The 16-year-old at the time from Groveland had been playing football in several Pop Warner leagues since he was 7 years old.

It was his junior year of high school, when his athletic abilities really took off.

He started playing in football camps, dominating both offense and defense.

During his last camp, Myers was playing as a free safety and went to make a tackle when a teammate collided with him, ending with a blow to the side of the head.

It left Myers motionless on the football field.

"I don’t feel nothing from here all the way down I couldn’t feel nothing couldn’t move nothing felt like my body was just shutting down," Myers said. 

"He told me you need to get here DJ been in an accident I’m like,' oh okay what is it, a broken leg? Cramps?," Myers mother, Rhonda Dhaiti, said. 

Myers was transported by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he was in surgery for 10 hours.

"When they first showed me the x-ray of his neck and told me it was completely broken, I fainted for two seconds and went blank, and then it was like mom mode kicked in," Dhaiti said.

The football star was left paralyzed in a wheelchair, from the waist down. 

"I was depressed, felt like I had no worth. No meaning," Myers said. 

He decided to turn his pain into passion.

 "I want to express myself instead of expressing through depression, screaming and crying. I express myself through my music," Myers said. 

 Through passion and patience and pen to paper, Myers now writes songs that are streamed across several platforms. He also performs at local nightclubs across Orlando.

FOX 35's Morgan Parrish asked Myers what he wants people to take away when they listen to his music.

"I want them to understand I’m not like every other rapper out here rapping about what they lived. I got music. I have a whole album, wheelchair heartbreak and its all my pain in all my songs what I’ve been through what I’ve seen what I’ve heard everything," Myers said. 

He's not letting his injury define him. "I thank God for everything he brought me through that because if didn’t get through that I don’t know where I’d be today."