At a very young age, Wyatt Tidwell, found himself thrown from a speeding motorcycle by fate into his new life.
Before his accident, Wyatt identified as a punk ass kid, who, did not care about other’s feelings, or even how his own actions could affect himself and others. You could find him out drinking, partying, arranging different drugs to chase the next artificial feeling. Even after his accident, surgeries, pain and paralysis; Wyatt noted that his darkest time was just prior to wrecking his motorcycle when he was partying. He couldn’t feel any emotions and life was meaningless to him.
Speeding down the highway at 84 miles per hour, his legs lifting off was his saddle was the last conscious memory before impacting the guard rails, and telephone pole like a human rag doll. Doctors and nurses told Wyatt’s family, due to the trauma’s his body and brain sustained, he probably wouldn’t wake up for at least a week. However, Wyatt woke up the morning after his accident at 7AM, a different man. Wyatt credits being thrown from his motorcycle, "what needed to happen" to change his outlook on life.
The challenges that he faced were not only readjusting to physical challenges but also the arrival of his emotions. The numbness that he felt before, was no longer there, he could feel everything. The emotions more available to him now more than ever, turned out to be very draining. His physical recovery was not easy, attending physical therapy 5x a week to regain as much as strength as possible, yet the emotional awakening perhaps even more challenging. Wyatt turned back briefly to old coping skills (drugs and alcohol) to drown out the emotions. After a particularly rough night, Wyatt returned inebriated, confronted by his younger sister (who at the time was 14), ended up having to take care of him. The morning after, Wyatt woke up, confronted by his father, explaining how his actions and behaviors were not only affecting him, but setting a bad example for his younger sister. This reality really hit him hard, in the heart. He wanted to be better for himself, and his sister.
It’s a testimony of Wyatt’s strength, determination and discipline, watching him in the gym with his service dog Zeus, right by his side, bringing his body back to balance using weight training. Perhaps, even more impressive, although not outwardly recognizable, is the emotional maturity and transformation this young man has gone through. With a name like Wyatt, which means; hardy-brave-strong, you can only imagine what this 20 year old will achieve with this second chance at life.