Never give up

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- In April 2016, Austin Weed and his friend were driving a little too quickly, and the car they were in lost control and hit an oncoming truck.

“When the firefighters showed up, they didn’t think they were going to pull anyone out alive,” said Weed. “The fact that I’m even here today, is incredible and a miracle.”

Although both Weed and his friend made it out alive, Weed ending up losing his right leg.

Over the next couple months Weed was stuck in a hospital, where he received 18 different surgeries.

“It was not fun,” said Weed. “It was very boring and uncomfortable, but through all that I was able to keep a positive mindset. I’ve seen people get hurt and play sports again.”

All Weed wanted to do was to play basketball his senior year of high school.

“I put my mind to it,” he said. “I went to rehab. I was able to get stronger and faster. Even though I’m not fully back to where I was before the car wreck, but I’m a lot farther off then where I started.”

Weed kept at it, and he was able to play again for his last year.

“I could’ve given up, but what about all the dreams I had before I knew this was going to happen?” he said. “I wanted to play basketball and jump.

“Now I can do anything I want to. Most people don’t even realize I’m missing a leg until I show them or mention it.”

It was because his story that Senior Master Sgt. David Clark, 312th Training Squadron first sergeant, wanted Weed to come talk to his students.

“I invited him here today to speak to you because he has gone through something that none of you here have and he has been able to completely overcome it with an amazing positive attitude and determination,” said Clark.

During Weed’s speech, he talked about how his friends were a motivating factor for him.

“When I was there, I couldn’t move, but they were up there every night anyway,” said Weed. “They came to play video games and watch movies. They would watch the movies over and over again, because I kept falling asleep and they wanted me to finish it. Then when I got home from the hospital and I was in a wheelchair and couldn’t do much, they were right there. They kept my spirit up.”

Weed thinks this injury has changed him in a major way.

“Before the crash, I thought that nothing could hurt me, but going through this was like whoa. Life is over in a flash. You need to seize it, have fun, do what you love, make good friends and leave a good legacy.”