After a year of drama, injury and loss, my friends and family have grown closer than any of us thought humanly possible. We have managed to stay out of trouble for months and actually lived normal lives.
My name is Cody Austin. I’m seventeen. Let that sink in for a moment. Seventeen. Now, I will finish it.
I came to Belize two years ago with my grandparents. We bought an island and an eco lodge and our lives began. We’ve made it through hurricanes, people trying to kill us, and a wedding. Yes, I am married.
I came into this world perfect with two adoring parents. That changed just before my first birthday. We were in a horrific auto accident that killed my mother and severely injured my father and myself. I’ve lived with my grandparents since then. My Dad lives in the states with his new family. I was seriously injured in the accident and it left me paraplegic with a trach. When I was nineteen months old, the trach plugged off and I suffered an anoxic brain injury. I was stuck on a ventilator and in my own little world for years.
My grandparents never gave up. They spent years and every penny they had to try to make me better. They bought a hyperbaric chamber from Sicily and between hyperbaric therapy, hydrotherapy, medicines, herbs, and stem cell replacement—and a whole lot of prayer and luck. I’m living my life to the fullest.