Mickey Was Told He'd Never Walk Again, But Then He Did This
Once Mickey conquered 406.6mph at Bonneville, he decided to race speedboats. Of course he had to design the speedboat first using a revolutionary idea. Mickey created a speedboat using one of the first hydroplane aerodynamic approaches which he believed would lift the boat out of the water more effectively than existing designs of the day.
He was crossing a lake in his new boat at 150 mph when he hit an unexpected wake. The boat did lift out of the water but then it flipped over and over. After the crash doctors told Mickey that he had broken his back and was permanently paralyzed from the waist down. They put him in a cast and left him in a hospital bed.
After six months, Mickey organized to leave the hospital. At home he removed the cast and created a therapy device consisting of one pulley and a length of rope. The more he moved the more pain he felt but at least feeling was returning to his legs. After six more months, defying doctors who said he’d never walk again, Mickey Thompson went jogging.
As Mickey tells it, “When the doctors told me I’d never walk again, I thought they were wrong. When they told me I’d never race again, I knew they were wrong.”