Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 389...Year 2

I love the days where I learn something more about a person and what makes them tick... Something that truly inspires me... Today I ran into someone who used to work in the park and has now moved on to another park... We got to talking about how things were going and what he was up to... He is now a coordinator and he is still working with the Military... His job with the military is welcome home and help council the military men and women that have been wounded in action and are now facing their futures as amputees...

He is in a wheelchair... I knew of his work with the military and had always assumed he had been injured in the line of duty... Today I finally had the nerve to ask what had happened and He was more than happy to share.... He quickly launched into a story about how his helicopter was flying over China, when he began to giggle... He apologized quickly and explained that he was messing with his friend that was also sitting with us... In reality he was never in the military... His story actually began when he was a toddler living in New Jersey... He explained that the pipes in their home were huge and that allowed the water going into the tub to get scalding hot... On this particular day his Mother has filled the bath tub half way with the hot water,she had also added bleach and then put some laundry in to clean... Upon seeing that the tub had water in it, his older brother believed it was for their bath... Since my friend was too little to get into the tub on his own, his brother helped him in... He went into the scalding bleach water face first... When his Mother found him they pulled him out and rushed him to the Hospital... Upon arrival he was out into an ice bath to stop the burning and then a salve of sorts was applied to try and heal the burns...

His poor sweet face was basically burned off... Within a week of the injury, gangrene began to set in and they had to amputate his right leg and then his left to just below the knee cap... He also lost all of his fingers on his right hand and some of his fingers on his left had as well... Over the course of the next four years they rebuilt his face, seeing him now you would not believe his face had been gone... He did not leave the hospital until he was 5 years old...

Of all of the children that came in with sever burn injuries like his, he was one of the few that survived... When he was questioned if he remembered much of the ordeal he said he remembered pounding his fist on the wall because he wanted to go home... He also recalled parents of other burn victims crying over their loss and he attributes that to his drive to stay alive... For someone who has been through so much he has such an amazing positive outlook on life....

When he told us about when he first joined the police department he was called in to speak with an officer that had been injured in the line of duty and had lost the use of his legs... Of course the officer was very upset and spoke of how his life was over... But what he explained to the officer was that, that part of his life was over, but he still had so much to live for... This is the same encouragement he continues to give this day to the Military men and women he meets and the disabled cast members he assists with at Disney...

He is truly an inspiration... As I sat there and heard his story it made me realize that no matter what happened to me all of those years ago, that is not what defines me as a human, just like the loss of a limb or the fact that someone is in a wheelchair, doesn't define them... What defines you is who you want to be... We are all stronger than the things that try and tear us apart inside... I may have been one way in the past, but when tragedy strikes we have to learn to except that what has happened can't be undone and that giving up is not an option...

Love, peace and giving up is not an option...
Musicsongbird