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This fundraiser ended on 12/31/10

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Even though I have a disability, nothing stops me from being a productive citizen . As a former teacher, I love to inspire. I was hit by a drunk driver, leading to paralysis & life support. I dedicated my life to giving back. I'm a living miracle.

My name is Dwight Owens. In 1994, when I was in the 6th grade, my dad was killed unexpectedly. My family and I watched him breathe his last breath with his brains on the ground. From that point on, I knew that if I could survive that, I could make it through anything else life threw at me. I got that opportunity in 2005 to test that theory.

I graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi in 2004 with a major in Secondary Education. Upon graduation, I immediately became a teacher. I’ve also always wanted to coach high school football. I taught there for a little over a year. Then my dream job opened up, being a teacher and a football coach at the school I graduated from. I took the job with no hesitation! My life was great! At 23 years of age, I thought I was living the life! I never used any type of drug. My life was planned out. I even knew the age that I was going to retire at! Unfortunately, on Friday, August 5 of 2005, my plans became altered. On that day, on my way to school, I was hit by a drunk driver and had a terrible driving accident. From talking to the paramedic, I died or coded instantly. Doctors wanted to give up because they thought I had no chance at all of being brought back to life. During the coding, I had an unforgettable afterlife experience. God had other ideas and gave me life again. Unfortunately, I awoke to the news that I was permanently paralyzed. I was placed on life support. Both of my lungs were punctured. My lungs eventually collapsed, making it hard for me to breathe on my own. In addition, my kidneys were bruised, a large hole was found in my diaphragm, my liver was knocked into my chest, several ribs were broken, my shoulder was torn, and my back was broken. Unfortunately, my spinal cord was also severed in 2 different places, which has left me permanently paralyzed.

Through my rehabbing process, I met people that could barely do anything for themselves such as eating, bathing, combing their hair, brushing their teeth, and some even needed respirators to help them breath. These are things that most of us take for granted. I’ve learned that independence is definitely a gift. It also must not be taken for granted because it can be taken away at any time. Even though I’m paralyzed, I’m still blessed because I survived. God brought me back from certain death and I’m able to tell others about my testimony and the power of God. I’m a miracle! Although the accident was terrible, I didn’t allow it to stop me. There was no way I was going to be bitter, even the drunk driver never called to express his sorry. Despite the wheelchair, I chose to be free and live. In addition, the previously mentioned drunk driver did not have any license or car insurance, which has left me swamped in medical bills. I’m in serious need of financial assistance.

I’m now a volunteer inspirational speaker. I speak across the state of Mississippi against Underage Drinking, Drinking and Driving, Drugs and Alcohol, and Irresponsible Drinking with my “Before You Drink, Think Dwight Owens” campaign. I’m also extremely active in helping other people with disabilities by counseling, tutoring, and advocating for their rights in various local communities. I am motivated by the thought of people with disabilities being independent and becoming leaders. I’ve realized anyone can be disabled because of old age and accidents. We can’t take anything for granted. Because of my volunteer community service, I was recently recognized nationally (See the photos and links). I was honored at Radio Music City Hall in New York, receiving a Spirit of Service Award. It was an honor to meet government officials, CEOs, celebrities, companies that believe in the spirit of community service, community leaders, and other motivated volunteers.

Although I dedicate my help to helping others, I sometimes forget that I need help myself. I’m desperate for help with medical expenses, medical equipment, and medical procedures to prolong my life and happiness. Thanks for your help.
 

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