May 4th 1999 was just another day or so it seemed. Things this year were going great. I had been working hard on a weightlifting program for football. The coaches told me I would be starting on the team my senior year. I was in the best shape of my life. Things were looking good.
I was going to lunch that day with my friends. On the way back, as I was sitting in the back seat when the driver lost control and hit a tree. I was knocked unconscious, when I woke up there was broken glass and blood everywhere. At first I thought I was all right. I tried to move but couldn’t. The seatbelt had cut into me ripping though my stomach muscles and breaking my back. The pain was so intense I kept passing out.
When the paramedics arrived, my vital signs were critical. I was life-flighted to the U of U Medical Center. The doctors stopped the bleeding and removed 3½ feet of my lower intestine. A week later I was finally stable enough to have surgery on my back. I had 2 rods and 4 screws put in my back and bone taken from my hip to fuse the bones together.
The surgeon told my parents he had never seen an injury so severe and the person live thought it. If that wasn’t enough, I had to have a 3rd surgery. Three days later, I was back in critical condition. For three weeks I didn’t have any food or water. I had reached my lowest point. I could not open my eyes or speak. I spent four more weeks in the hospital doing therapy, learning how to use a wheelchair, transferring and learning everyday tasks.
I am an active person. I don’t let my disability slow me down. I snow ski, skydive, ride 4 wheelers, and go hunting. I try to live my life the same as before my accident. I recently (2011) started playing wheelchair basketball. Once I started I was hooked. I enjoy learning the sport and it’s also a good workout. I am very excited to play basketball with the Wheelin’ Jazz.