Watch CBS News

Mark Wahlberg Surprises Local Football Player Recovering From Injury

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After learning about a young athlete's severe football injury, actor Mark Wahlberg made a quick FaceTime call that had a major impact.

On August 31, 2018, Hayden Hamilton's life changed forever.

As a young football player at Laurel High School in Lawrence County, Hamilton suffered a severe vertebral fracture during a football game.

A C4 spinal cord injury results in paralysis in arms, hands, trunk, and legs, but fortunately, none of these remain true for Hamilton.

His rehab at the Children's Hospital Rehabilitation Unit helped Hamilton become 100% independent again, walking only with braces and a walker now.

He caught the attention of Walhberg after wearing one of the actor's "Performance Inspired" shirts during one of his rehab sessions.

A video of Hamilton walking while wearing Wahlberg's brand was shared so many times on social media that it made its way to the actor himself.

"Yeah, he called me and said he just got off hanging from a chain on set filming in Germany. He's way more of a morning person than I am," says Hamilton.

Hamilton just passed the second anniversary of his injury, and he now works on walking in outpatient therapy.

He drives his own car and is 100% independent in everyday tasks.

"Well you keep pushing, brother. I heard you made a lot of amazing progress already," says Wahlberg.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.