JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Richard Collier’s left leg is gone and his right one is paralyzed. He’s confined to a wheelchair, his once-promising NFL career gone in the time it took six bullets to pierce his body nearly 15 months ago.
Since that life-threatening and life-altering moment, Collier has had 15 surgeries, taken upward of 20 medications a day for several months, went through kidney dialysis when his body shut down and fought off a bout with pneumonia. Yet the former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle smiles and jokes to approximately 200 people while at the 10th annual World Congress and Expo on Disabilities at the Jacksonville Convention Center on Friday. The friendly gestures aren’t light and only for a moment. They’re constant, sincere and, well, infectious.