In 1984, a tree fell on Abbott while he was playing golf. Since then, he has been confined to a wheelchair. He has become a strong advocate for paralysis research and the need to improve access to wheelchairs for people with disabilities. But he is also concerned about the legal implications of his actions. The Abbott wheelchair campaign does not release any copy of the actual lawsuit, which would contain the pleadings and requests for damages.
During his campaign for governor of Texas, Wendy Davis ran an ad mocking Greg Abbott’s wheelchair and claiming hypocrisy. The ad fails to mention the fact that Greg Abbott is actually paralyzed from the waist down. He was paralyzed due to a freak accident. The oak tree fell on him during a jog in 1984, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Abbott’s accident caused damage to many of his vital organs, including the spinal cord.
Staffers of the Empower Texans advocacy group mocked Abbott’s wheelchair while disparaging his physical limitations. The comments were recorded on an unedited podcast featuring Empower Texans vice president Cary Cheshire and general counsel Tony McDonald. The podcast was later edited, and the comments were removed. The spokesman for the group denied the comments. If you’d like to listen to the entire podcast, click here.