"God gave this man a gift:" Man suddenly paralyzed from the arms down just grateful to be alive

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Breen says last Thursday, November 19th was a typical day. He pulled his semi into a stop near Tulsa -- unhitching his trailer. He then pulled the fifth-wheel release, and felt a pop between his shoulders. He shrugged it off -- hopping back into the semi and heading towards home.

"About an hour, hour-and-a-half later he took it off cruise control and thought 'oh my God, I can't feel my legs,'" his wife Jamie said.

Breen called for help.

"He tried to walk from the truck, just a step or two, and he collapsed into the car. And that's when everything just kind of went numb," Jamie Breen said.

Breen's co-workers took him to the hospital.

An MRI would reveal he will likely never walk again.

A shattered disc in Breen's back bruised his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the arms down.

"You just feel grateful in some weird way, just happy like 'that's it.' It's almost a relief," Jamie Breen said.

"Relief" is not the word you typically associate with paralysis, but Kevin Breen is not your typical patient.

"He's very positive. He feels even though he won't have his legs and things like that anymore, he's just gained so much from this. It really gave him this great perspective on life and he's ready to start living. You can't compare yesterday with today and you just have to get out there and you have to live and be the best person you can be, whether you can walk or not," Jamie Breen said.

Photos of Kevin Breen show him smiling in a neck brace in his hospital bed inside the intensive care unit.

His wife says he came out ahead.  The man who worked 16 hours a day, often six days a week will now be able to spend time at home with his two boys, attending football games and band concerts he missed in the past.

Jamie Breen promises they'll still be exploring and adventuring -- "just in a wheelchair now."

"He's just so ready to get out and live and do the things he can. He's not a sit-in-front-of-the-TV kind of guy, and he just wants to get out and experience life."

Before he does that, Breen will have to undergo two to three months of rehab.

His coworkers are already talking about building a home ramp and an all-terrain wheelchair for a man they already admired.

"He just has such a good spirit. He's always been so positive. He's the kind of guy that has to bring a smile to your face. This happened to Kevin for a reason. God gave this man a gift. It may not seem like it, but there could be someone in the same situation that could not see any hope. I wanted his story to be heard," said Andrew Lawrence.