A Life on His Back

There are heart-wrenching magazine stories, and then there’s this: Skip Hollandsworth’s profile of John McClamrock, the paralyzed football player, in the new issue of Texas Monthly. McClamrock was hurt in a junior varsity high-school football game in 1973; he lost the use of everything below his neck, and couldn’t even lift his head without blacking out. But his frozen body, which amazingly lived another three decades, was tended to by an angelic presence. McClamrock’s mother, Ann, fed him, changed him, watch game shows and soap operas with him. There are no plot twists to come, no recovery miracles, just a bond between mother and son that is amazingly rendered.