I WILL WALK AGAIN: James McQuillan's vow to AFL Footy Show

James McQuillan speaks to AFL's The Footy Show. Picture: AFL FOOTY SHOW
James McQuillan speaks to AFL's The Footy Show. Picture: AFL FOOTY SHOW

JAMES McQuillan believes he will walk again.

He said it may not happen tomorrow — “it could be in a year, or 30 when a new technology is discovered” — but he believes he can.

With his girlfriend Kathryn James by his side, McQuillan last night told Nine Network’s The Footy Show he hadn’t lost hope.

The Albury footballer suffered a serious spinal cord injury against Yarrawonga at Albury Sportsground on April 5.

Scans determined the injury made him a C5 quadriplegic.

In an interview with host Garry Lyon, McQuillan revealed what he remembered on that day.

“I leant over the footy, going in to pick it up and I ran into a bloke’s thigh,” he said.

“No malice involved.”

He said he couldn’t recall the 30 seconds before the incident, but remembered falling on his back.

“I told everyone not to touch me because I knew how serious it was,” he said. “I couldn’t really feel my arms or my legs.”

McQuillan has bicep and wrist extension and said his triceps would be the next thing he would get back before finger movement.

“I think I’ve got a flicker in my triceps but the physios tell me I don’t,” he said.

“But I’m just going to go with my side of the story.”

Lyon asked McQuillan what went through his head while he was lying on the ground and whether he was thinking about football, life, family, parents or his girlfriend.

“I was trying not to read too much into it,” he said.

“I thought it might have just been one of those things and I might walk out of hospital that night.

“It was just a freak thing, but you hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

Ms James said she was in disbelief when she realised people were rushing to McQuillan’s aid.

“Someone went down on the other side of the field and another player waved us over and two of the trainers took off in front of me,” she said.

“I didn’t realise it was James until I was about 20 metres away and my stomach just dropped.

“I was so glad there were other people because I couldn’t do anything, I was in shock.”

McQuillan said it was his family and friends that got him through.