Wheelchair bound Philadelphia man crowd surfs at Coheed and Cambria concert

- A Philadelphia man who is paralyzed from the neck down got the experience of a lifetime while seeing his favorite band in concert earlier this week.

Joe Burkhardt of South Philly was with friends at Festival Pier Wednesday night, in his wheelchair, hearing his favorite band, Coheed and Cambria.

From his wheelchair, he sure wasn't seeing much.

"Yeah, everybody's standing up-- I couldn't see the stage at all, so...I look around and I had a brilliant idea to ask a few people to stand me up," Joe recalled.

They did Joe one better.

"They pick me up.  I'm looking at the stage.  I've got a good view.  Next thing I know. I'm getting closer to the stage," Joe said.

Joe was crowd surfing. In his wheelchair. He was held six feet off the ground with no control of his arms, legs, or where he was going. He was held into his chair by a single seatbelt.

"I was definitely nervous.  But with the music playing and the adrenaline was going.  I was having a good time up there. I was enjoying it."

Joe’s girlfriend, Christa Gorman says it was a sight to see, and the crowd went wild.

"It made me feel like life is totally worth it.  It was inspring," she said.   

"Everyone couldn't help enough – they were pushing each other out of the way just to make sure-- to maintain-- that I was staying above everybody," Joe added.

Joe's been in a wheelchair since breaking his neck in a 2010 surf-diving accident at the Jersey shore.

He says he rarely attends concerts at smaller venues because he can’t see.

As he neared the stage, nervous security guards finally shut down Joe's ride.

"When I got down and around the barrier, everyone was coming up to me, giving me high fives, saying that's awesome, sending me videos," Joe said.

Just like that, Joe Burkhardt's special memory was over:  a favored band, a favorite song, and a feeling of soaring with the music.

And the next time he attends a concert...

"I'm gonna be looking to crowd surf at the next concert. For sure."

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