Further complicating the matter, Nieto did not have health insurance. But he was determined to eventually make a complete recovery. To aid his efforts, the track community came together and raised over $81,000 for his medical bills through crowdfunding via AthleteBiz -- the same organization that later set up Gabe Grunewald's crowdfund, which has already raised over $54,000.
Soon after the incident, Nieto proposed to his girlfriend Shevon Stoddart with the promise that on their wedding day he would walk all the way down the aisle unassisted. (Stoddart is no slouch herself: she's a two-time Olympian in the 400m hurdles for Jamaica.)
Yesterday, Nieto made good on his promise, and took his steps up to the altar, completing a huge milestone on his long road to recovery.
"People keep saying my recovery is really fast," Nieto said to the AP. "I feel like it's not fast enough. I want to be better tomorrow. I'm built for speed, not for going slow. But I'm working on being the best walker I can be."
Watch Nieto take his final steps to the altar:
Olympian Jamie Nieto walks to his wedding after being paralyzed pic.twitter.com/2q35mByM0K— Ramon Galindo (@RamonGalindoNBC) July 22, 2017