SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio teen spoke exclusively to KSAT about a viral video that has reached millions across the nation, showing her walking for the first time in 10 months.
In May, Morgan Coultress wanted to surprise her friend and prom date by taking a few steps unassisted after months of not being able to walk. She posted the video on Twitter and within hours, it had been shared thousands of times.
Coultress underwent thyroid surgery in June 2017. Complications after that surgery set her body out of control, causing her to lose her ability to walk. She spent months in the hospital.
Morgan Coultress and family
Doctors have told Coultress she could be suffering from conversion disorder and will be able to walk again.
The Health Careers High School senior will graduate on Thursday, and she has been working hard to get her body and legs in shape so she can walk the graduation stage alone without any assistance.
The 18-year-old is taking it all in stride.
“I know I have to set expectations for myself, and I’m learning to be OK if I don’t reach the exact goal I want,” Coultress said. “I’m learning to know it’s OK to not make it sometimes. I know I’m working hard and I'll get there.
Coultreess said the hardest part of her journey was not missing out on all the senior activities but being away from her family for weeks at a time. Her faith allowed her to be OK with her circumstance.
“I think this is my path that God has given me, and I knew in my heart that this is going to change me somehow,” she said. “And I knew that I was going to be walking again.”
Coultress spends three hours a week in physical therapy at Momentum Physical Therapy in Helotes, where the staff has set a goal of going with her to run track when she’s better.
“It's taken a lot longer than I thought, but I know I’m really close to getting there again and I can’t wait to run on a track or a trail,” she said.
After the video went viral, Coultress was invited to be a guest on nationally syndicated talk shows, including the Ellen Show, but she said she wanted to stay focused on getting better and being ready for her graduation walk. She’s using her moment in the spotlight to help share her faith.
“It feels great that people are learning that there’s such a thing as hope out there, because I know it’s hard for people to believe that, especially when they are stuck in a situation that seems impossible to get out of,” she said.
After graduation, Coultress will attend Northwest Vista College, where she will explore her career options.
Coultress' journey has also inspired her mother, who is battling cancer, stay tuned for the story on Thursday's Nightbeat at 10.