Every person faces obstacles in life, whether you are a leader of people, an employee, a student, or an athlete. What happened is important, but it’s what you do about what happened that defines you as a person. Eric Inouye is one man who has achieved such success because he has overcome many barriers in his life. He competed in sports all through high school, but a violent car accident changed his path and set him on a course of self-discovery.

An ordinary day became significant for several reasons:
• Eric had just earned his high school diploma the week before
• The next day would be his parents wedding anniversary.
• Eric’s 18th birthday would be in two weeks.

August 15, 1985, would be the beginning of an inspirational story.
Having just graduated high school and on the cusp of becoming an 18-year-old man, one does not expect to experience life or death situations. The day began like any other day, except on this day worlds collided. A drunk driver with a blood alcohol content level of .30 sped through a RED light like a bullet searching for a target. Eric’s smaller truck became the target as the other driver smashed into his vehicle.

As luck would have it, Don, his friend who had just become a lifeguard for L. A. City Pools, also rode with Eric. The impact had caused Don to sustain a cut to his arm which would later need stitches, but Eric’s body laid lifeless as he bled from his nearly severed left ear.

A passerby, helped Don get Eric out from his destroyed vehicle where Don lifted Eric’s chin towards the sky. This position alone helped Eric’s internal organs to force and push the partially digested pizza onto the pavement, where his body began to function.

A police officer notified Eric’s mom of the accident, and when she arrived at the hospital, the doctor told her he’s in bad shape. Also Eric is comatose, and in situations like this, we just have to wait. His Mom called Eric’s father at work, who later told Eric he never imagined he would get such a call from mom.
Eric’s struggle for survival will teach us the value we should develop in overcoming challenges.
Today, Eric currently resides in Laguna Niguel, California.

His book “Small Steps, Long Journey” is an autobiographical novel meant to encourage people to overcome their own obstacles and challenges. Whether you are facing life’s challenges or you know someone in need, this book is surely for you.

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