Motivation

UT student uses near-fatal crash as motivation for new endeavor

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Soon-to-be University of Texas graduate Michael Guevara is beating the odds. (Photo courtesy: Guevara family)

A soon-to-be University of Texas graduate is beating the odds.

It may be hard not to notice all the scars on Michael Guevara’s body. If each scar has a story, you think he’d have plenty – but most of them came from one day back in 2015.

“(Doctors) said I had to get airlifted because if I was taken by ambulance, I would have died,” said Guevara.

After his freshman year at UT, Guevara made his way back home to Killeen. He was about five minutes from his house when he got into a car accident that changed his life, he said.

“I remember my dad didn’t even let me look at images of my car at first,” he said.

Guevara hit another car head on. He said the other motorist was driving 60 mph, and he was T-boned by the driver behind him.

His injuries included 19 broken bones, a punctured lung, fractured knee cap, and doctors had to remove his spleen. Medical staff informed him, if he were to get any serious illnesses like the flu it could potentially be fatal because of a weakened immune system from no longer having a spleen.

“It’s a really big impact in your life, I think it really drove me through college after that,” he said.

At the time, the 22-year-old was planning to head into his sophomore year with hopes of one day becoming a nurse – something his family always wanted. But while he was “cemented to a bed,” he got an email that his transfer credits were denied.

So as he was relearning to walk, he refocused his academic efforts to get a degree in physical rehab.

He’ll have that degree in hand next Friday. “It’s going to be a very emotional moment,” he said.

The last time Guevara crossed the stage he was in high school. A week before, his mother died from stage-4 lung cancer.

He said the determination to overcome his injuries, change his academic path and make a life for himself are all traits from her.

“I remember talking to my mom about it when she was still alive and she ultimate said, I just want you to be happy with what you do in life whether you’re a nurse or not I’m going to be proud of you wherever you go or whatever you do,” he said. “Walking across that stage, all I can hear her say is, ‘I’m so proud of you.’”

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