The Jaws-of-Life refused to start, and the EMT’s worked frantically to free Arthur and his friend from the over-turned car. The seatbelt that was supposed to keep him safe had wrapped around his neck and hung him from the inside of the vehicle. Finally, the men were carefully removed from the mangled metal, and Arthur was flown to Great Falls.
There was no chance of living. There was no chance of walking. There was no chance of coming back from the brain injury caused by the 120 pounds of pressure inside his skull.
“15 years ago, I was in diapers,” said Arthur, recounting the details of the wreck that had changed everything. “15 years ago my father would have to sleep in the living room with me. 15 years ago, I was reborn.”
Arthur beat the odds and did everything the doctors said that he would never be able to do again.
Now, with your help, he’s trying to once again make the impossible, possible by carrying out his dream to study abroad in Australia this June.
“I want to go to Australia because I feel a connection with Australia, and their aboriginals,” said Arthur excitedly. “That’s where I think I will fit in the best of all the places.”
As a proud member of the Blackfeet Tribe, Arthur’s feeling of deep spiritual connection to the Australian aboriginals is something he is excited to explore and learn about.
For Arthur, this trip is more than just a semester abroad, it’s an opportunity to share his story with the world.
“My car accident showed me that I can’t take anything for granted,” Arthur said with a straight face. “You could look out and see the sun rise, look out and see the sunset and the stars, and you can’t take things like that for granted. My story shows you that anything can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye.”
Watching Arthur struggle with the financial burden of studying overseas has made us in the Study Abroad Office passionate about doing everything we can to help Arthur achieve his goal of sharing his story across the world.
With his flight set for June, his classes picked and his excitement growing, Arthur admitted that he does still have one looming fear about his upcoming trip to the, “Land Down-Under.”
“Honestly, the thing that I am most nervous about is getting beat up by a Kangaroo,” as soon as he finishes his sentence he belts out a deep laugh. The smile only grows larger as he explains why he thinks it will be such a problem.
“I hear they walk around Lismore like the deer walk around here in Missoula. I’m afraid I’m going to feel too excited to see a kangaroo and I’m going to run right up to it and the kangaroo is going to get startled and just jump up and, splat me,” he says, punctuating the splat with a loud clap of his hands and a chuckle.
Arthur Weatherwax started his journey into a new life 15 years ago, and now we are determined to help him start the newest chapter of his journey that will take him to places he never dreamed were within his reach.
- Amanda Duley
- Rebecca Wright
- Maria Brosnan
- Mandy Hopper
- Dawn Plourde
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