A lot of us like to think that we’re the kind of people who would sacrifice ourselves to save someone else’s life. It’s easy to talk the talk, but few actually get into a position to walk the walk.
Young Aaron Walker of suburban Dallas found himself in that position one night in February. The former standout high school football player was out with friends celebrating his acceptance into the Army. Their car broke down on the interstate, though, and while they were pushing the car off an exit ramp, another car came barreling toward them. Walker could’ve just jumped out of the way, but that would’ve left his friends in the car’s path. So he pushed his friends out of the way and took the brunt of the force, changing his life forever (though luckily not ending it).
It’s a tragic story, but Walker’s attitude makes it one of the more inspiring stories you’ll hear this year.
The DALLAS MORNING NEWS describes how it all happened:
Walker, Simone Ross and Cory Russell were pushing the car off the Motley Drive exit to a gas station when headlights approached fast from behind. Walker pushed Ross away.
One car swerved to avoid the teens. A Honda behind it braked hard and was hit from behind by a third vehicle. The Honda was launched into the Chevy and both Walker and Russell were hit.
Russell was thrown from the Chevy and broke his leg. Walker flew forward and the Honda rolled over him, trapping his legs. Walker dragged himself from under the tires and off to the side of the road.
Walker’s act of heroism might have saved Ross’ life, but it cost Aaron both of his legs. His Army enlistment naturally is on hold. As the MORNING NEWS notes, pretty much any 18-year-old (or anyone, really) would probably be devastated by losing both legs — especially someone athletic like Walker. But he’s dealing with his situation remarkably well:
He said he can’t wait to try wheelchair basketball and rugby. “I’m glad I still got my arms. It could have been worse.”
He is also building up his emotional and mental strength and is eager to return to Baylor [Hospital] to provide inspiration to fellow amputees and others who are ill.
“Being negative doesn’t help anything,” Walker said. “If you don’t think you’re going to get better, you’re not going to get better.”
He still hopes to go to college, serve his country, and remain involved in athletics. And, from the sounds of it, Walker has no regrets at all that he sacrificed his legs to save his friend.
Of course, the costs of Walker’s medical care, including the prosthetic legs he will be getting soon, are huge. So a fund has been set up to help defray some of those costs. You can get more information about the fund (and how to donate) at aaronwalkerfund.com.