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Your Stories: A True Survivor

If you’ve ever been in a fender bender you know the aches and pains it can leave behind. Just imagine being run over by a semi and not only living to talk about it, but almost fully recovering.

DJ, "If you would have told me this was going to happen, I'd have told you to shoot me, but it's not that big a deal."

DJ Craig's deal on this day is the same as it's been for more than five months. Therapy. Working his way back to stuff most of us take for granted, like walking.

It all started six months ago. DJ was working outside of his semi in the woods north of Tomahawk, when it started to move. He tried to hop in the tractor, which was not attached to the trailer at the time, and the unthinkable happened.

DJ: "I spun back into the tractor and landed on my back and the front drive axle went across my leg, pelvis, chest and shoulder. The first wheel went all the way across and it was in front of my face and the second tire bounced and stopped on my pelvis."

It would be a half hour until DJ's co-workers got to the scene. Meanwhile, he laid there conscious, not with a huge amount of pain he says but with indescribably pressure on the middle part of his body.

DJ, "I did say Lord, if you want me, make it quick and if you got something for me to do, get someone here so I can heal up and do what you want me to do."

After the accident, DJ says things get a little blurry. His co-workers rescued him from the terrible predicament. He was taken to the hospital by helicopter.

DJ, "The surgeon says I don't know why you're here, you must have one heck of a will to live"

Eleven surgeons worked on DJ over the next three days. Amazingly, the wreck missed his spine and major organs, but there was some internal damage and countless broken bones. A two-week doctor induced coma and tubes that stayed in his throat for two weeks after he woke up followed the operations.

DJ, "As I laid there with tubes down my throat, my one goal was to drink a glass of ice water."

That refreshing drink DJ says was one of the many short-term goals he set over the next half a year.

DJ, "It helps your attitude when you achieve your goal"

From those early days after the accident, having to rehab to learn to turn over in bed again to where he is now DJ says it's been achieving those goals, faith, family, friends and a few surprises that kept him going.

DJ, "Somebody that you wouldn't think of sending a card, wishing you well, saying you are in our prayers makes a major impact."

Major could describe the progress DJ's made since the accident. He and his therapists have worked him back to being able to walk for a short time without a cane. But his ultimate goal is to go back home. After a brush with death that DJ says has changed his outlook on life.

DJ, "I have an appreciation of what I have and what I can do and I no longer worry about the petty things."

DJ says his other main goal is to drive a Harley Davidson motorcycle. It takes both hands and feet to operate. Then he says he knows he'll be back at 100 percent.


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