My name is Jeff Butler and when I was 13, I was involved in an auto accident that changed my life.
Tired from a middle school football game, I did something most young kids have done, I laid down in the back seat of our family SUV. This was a seemingly perfect place for my 5’2″ 13 year old frame and I closed my eyes for a quick cat nap while my dad drove home. The next thing I remember was waking up to a bright flash of light, lots of spinning, and then lots of not being able to move.
Movies and TV don’t do a great job of really explaining what happens when you break your neck. Usually the person shown dies instantly, but I can attest to the fact that is not the case! What actually happens, is that person is set on a journey over the weeks, months, and then years to take back their life and independence. I started on that adventure when I was 13, and am still learning new things every day.
I started driving with my friends when I was 16, went away to college at 18, and got my first “adult” job when I was 22. At 26 I started my own software company and was fortunate to be able to represent Team USA in the Rio 2016 Paralympics, bringing home a Silver medal.
We all have journeys that we travel in life. My hope is that sharing these experiences will help people along their own paths, and shed some light on quite a different lifestyle– one lived a little lower to the ground, and on four wheels.
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