21 year old Cory Hahn’s extraordinary athletic skills gave him the potential of becoming a Major League baseball player. That is until tragedy struck.
As an Arizona State University baseball player, in 2011 he tried to steal second base. Anticipating a close play, he slid head first into second base, his head hitting the leg of the fielder covering the base.
Cory lay motionless on the field.
He was delicately placed on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital, as his life hung in the balance. He survived but he and his family and friends learned he had fractured his C-5 spinal vertebrae and was paralyzed from the chest down.
Cory would need 24 hour care from his family and his formerly speedy legs would be useless to him, as he would view the world from a wheel chair. Doctors told him he would never walk again.
But Cory refused to quit on life.
After a year of surgeries and excruciating physical therapy, Cory returned to Arizona State to earn a business degree. Despite missing a year, and suffering through all of his physical problems, he is taking classes at a remarkable pace and plans to graduate in 2014.
In the meantime, Arizona State made him a baseball coach, so he could remain actively involved with the team. And last summer, an anonymous donor gave Cory a $75,000 customized Toyota van with hand controls so he can drive himself wherever he wants to go.
In June of 2013, Cory received another wonderful surprise. At the Major League Baseball draft, he was chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks, as if he were still a top player. In honor of his old uniform number, number 34, he was chosen in the 34th round.
By Twitter, a joyous Cory replied, “I cannot thank the @dbacks enough for what they have done! So humbled and will be forever grateful! So honored to be a diamondback!”
Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall told the Associated Press it was an “emotional selection.
“When [scouting director] Ray Montgomery and his staff came up with the idea and presented it to me, it was a no-brainer. It’s not about us. It’s really about his family. I was able to spend time with them right after the injury in his hospital room and he’s a wonderful kid.
“We want to make this permanent. We don’t want this to just be about the selection and him being a draft pick, but about him working in full-time employment with the Diamondbacks and hopefully we’ll make that come to fruition for he and his family here soon.”
Despite the paralysis, opportunity after opportunity is coming to Cory, because he has an upbeat personality, incredible determination and a heart as big as the Grand Canyon, as he strives to live a fulfilling life.