Eric Inouye has seen his accident as a “blessing in disguise” to experience the greatest value of survival. One thing he learned from the accident is that, we all need to live our lives in the moment, we don’t have to wait. Often times we will find ourselves full of hesitation, but we need to bugger through it and do the things we need and want to do.
Our author’s journey to his new beginning took him on a bumpy road, yet, HE CONQUERED IT!
As He Sees His Situation for the First Time
Upon breaking back into reality… after nine weeks of unconsciousness, Eric had slight movement in his right hand. He had no muscle control to turn his head left or right. They put him in a neck brace and set him up in his hospital bed. Eric could hear voices, but he couldn’t see people unless they were in front of him, it’s like using a periscope in a submarine. His Mom sat next to him with tears in her eyes. Those tears sparkled as she told Eric he had just awakened from a coma, but Eric couldn’t clearly comprehend his mother’s words. Even though he wanted to ask questions, he couldn’t because he has no voice and no words came out of his mouth. You can only imagine what confusion Eric felt.
Despite Eric’s situation he did not experience disappointment because his loved ones were there to support him. Eric felt love, joy and happiness in the room which helped him relax. All the people in the room were smiling as they pointed at him, but his visitors confused him because EVERYONE in his life were all together in one room, people from his past and present. Most of all, his family was reconnected.
His Recovery Phase
Eric had trouble imagining anything beyond the next few minutes. He felt broken and he did not make plans. It took everything he had to be present in the moment. His first task took balancing his enormous head on his pencil neck.
His memory had stayed intact. He remembered all the sports he played and the drills his father put him through. Eric’s mind filled with adrenaline, but his body lay lifeless and immobile. He didn’t talk or even walk and his life definitely slowed, but he remained focused, and challenged himself to overcome his situation.
He stayed positive and tried to tackle every mountain. He never steered away from the challenge.
His Journey To Recovery
Eric started making short term goals and reached simple targets at first. His family urged him to move forward and didn’t allow him to crumble. They were always there for his entire recovery and kept him positive. His recovery began slow and steady. He felt like the turtle in the old times story and not the rabbit. He remembered how to walk and talk, but his muscles did not cooperate like they had when he last felt alive. He had to train his muscles to function correctly, but everything felt different because he had to train his adult body. Eric now stood 5’10.
Eric has never become a professional athlete, even though he dreamed of competing in several sports during high school. In junior college, Eric began writing his story and a classmate told him she connected to his story after reading his work. His classmate even said that, “Although you aren’t able to play sports competitively anymore, I believe you have the gift to help more people, because of your inspirational story” and this motivated Eric to continue his writing.
Eric has taught us that no matter what happens… LIFE does not stop. Therefore, we need to push ourselves no matter the circumstances. WE CAN MAKE IT! As Eric put it, “I may be broken, but I have a lot of life inside me” and this is indeed true because, HE MADE IT!