Connor Docherty, 19, from Paisley, broke his neck during a school game of rugby in January 2008.
As a 16-year-old he was playing away for St Aloysius’ College against Edinburgh Academy when he went in for the tackle that would change his life forever.
Connor said: “All I remember was I went in for a tackle then I blacked out. Next thing I remember was waking up on the pitch and I couldn’t feel anything from the shoulders down.
“At this point I think I was in a state of shock and didn’t really register what was happening. I think what happened was that my head was in the wrong place and the other boy’s knee must have clipped it in the tackle.
“I was taken to hospital in Edinburgh and then moved to the Southern General.”
Doctors at the Glasgow hospital told the teenager he had fractured his fourth, fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae.
Connor underwent an 11-hour operation which fixed the damaged vertebrae by fusing them back together using titanium and a bone graft from his hip.
He then spent six months in hospital, missing the second half of his fifth year.
He said: “The doctors were quite blunt. They said there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to walk again. ”
Through an intense course of neurological rehabilitation with physiotherapists at the Southern General, Connor finally managed to take steps with the help of crutches.
The teenager, who is now studying engineering at Strathclyde University, has been working with Giffnock-based physio Eilidh Dorrian since September last year.
She was contacted by Scottish Rugby to take over his rehab and now works with the Murrayfield Centenary Fund, the charity set up by the organisation to help players with serious injuries, to aid his recovery.
Connor attends three two-hour sessions of physio a week and walks for 30 minutes a day.
His progress inspired the pair to sign up to walk from Fort William to Milngavie -- a 96 mile challenge -- starting on June 6.
Eilidh, 25, from Giffnock, said: “He has come a really long way and this walk will act as good motivation for his progress. He needed to set himself a big challenge. ”
Dominic McKay, spokesman for Scottish Rugby, said: “Connor has shown great determination to get to this stage. He is a great role model to other youngsters and an inspiration for all those involved in the game.”
Connor and Eilidh are raising money for the rugby fund and in memory of Bill Hogg, former Scottish Rugby Union CEO and administrator of the fund, who passed away last month.
l To make a donation log on to www.justgiving.com/Eilidh-Dorrian