He was sitting with his mom and sister when I met him. He was quiet and calm as he ordered his food and drink. I thought nothing of him (except that he was a cutie) when I noticed his arm.
“What did you do to yourself?”
His mom answered that it was a long story. I’m good at long stories because as you know I ask the right questions to get the information in full.
Turns out Brayden was a professional surfer at the age of 11. So good that he had sponsors and fame for his talent.
Then his family went on a skiing trip to Oregon and a jump caused an accident that had his parents airlift him to the hospital.
You can read all the details about his accident if you click right here, but what I want you all to know is the resilliance I saw in that child.
Having been told the night of the accident that their son had 2 hours to live. They didnt’ give up. Then after being an induced coma for weeks his parents were again told they weren’t sure if their son would make it, they didn’t give up. Then when they were told again that if their son DID make it out of the coma okay, he will not walk again. Again…what do you think they said.
There were strong hopes, denial and prayers. Prayers and more prayers as Brayden was so loved by his friends and community.
In talking to Brayden the other day, he shared with me that when he was unconscious he saw God and God told him, “It’s not your time yet…”
Brayden also told me, “They said I wasn’t going to walk and I told them I was going to walk…”
I hadn’t seen him physically come into the Rock and Brews restaurant so I asked, “Wait…how did you get in here…did you walk in here?”
Brayden said, “No, a wheelchair got me here, but I’m walking out…”
“So they told you that you wouldn’t walk again and you didn’t believe them?”
Brayden looked up at me between bites and said, “Yeah, I said I’m walking again.”
If I am honest I had a very difficult time keeping my eyes dry, specially when Brayden’s mom said, “The last time we were at LAX we were headed up to go skiing…”
I understood. Crap happens just when life is good. It’s what you do with the crap that gets you to the next place and lets clarify one thing: Brayden is one speical kid.
As he was leaving with his mom and his sister I gave him one last hug and watched him as WALKED out of Rock and Brews following his mom and his dad. Another traveler was behind him anxiously and patiently waiting for Brayden to move just a little faster so he could get by.
I chuckled to myself as I watched. Funny how we have no idea who is next to us when we sit or walk in public or when we travel. Brayden didn’t care how slow he was going, to him, all he cared about was that he was indeed walking when others told him he couldn’t.
That is what will set Brayden apart and will also make him a success no matter what he does with his life.
Just yesterday I heard about the film: Heal.
I was so inspired I came home, fed the family dinner and after we cleaned up, I made everyone sit at the TV and watch one of the most incredible documentaries I’ve seen in a long time.
“Heal” is about healing ourselves with our mind and attitude. Also it’s about what we don’t know that we can do (HEAL) for ourselves and our bodies. It’s about believeing we can heal ourselves and working with medicine when we have to. It’s about believing in what we can’t see, our strength and our body and it’s ability to rebuild.
All this after meeting Brayden. Who at the age of 12 didn’t need to see “Heal” to know what he himself is capable of.
Just so you know Brayden, I will be watching your progress and know your mere attitude will take you to places others can only dream about.
If you want to learn more or help:
The community has been with him through the fight. GoFundMe account set up after the accident has raised more than $200,000 to date to help with Brayden’s medical bills and continued therapy. Feel free to connect with him as well!