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Joe Engelhardt

Born: 11/16/1980

Injured: March 2009

Injury: Spinal Cord Injury C4-C6

On a spring break trip, in March 2009, in the mountains of west Texas, Joe was excited to get away from school and do some hiking and camping. Immediately after Joe and his friends arrived they hiked, grilled some food and played cards. Joe went to sleep excited for the rest of his vacation. When he awoke, it was two weeks later and he was in a hospital bed with no recollection of the events that transpired. He was told that he went on a hike the next day and when he reached for a ledge the rock broke off and he fell thirty feet. Now in the hospital, Joe was in the ICU on a ventilator with a broken neck, shattered knee, duel broken femurs, and a broken wrist.

The doctors would go on to fuse his C4-C6 joints in his neck, and place metal rods in his legs and wrists. After four arduous months Joe was released from the hospital ready to start a tough rehabilitation schedule in order to get back on his feet. Nine months after his accident he was already using only a cane to get around. Then in March 2010, Joe fell down and broke his hip. Because of this, he would go on to have a plate and screw inserted in his hip, along with multiple knee surgeries with his last one being a total knee replacement and patella realignment. Due to all these surgeries his progress stalled and he found himself dependent on his walker again.

Growing up in Paris, Texas Joe found outlets with sports and marching band. Before his accident Joe was in school at Texas Tech, pursuing a degree in Architecture. While in college he was also a part of the marching band, Goin' Band From Raiderland. He was also an avid cyclist going on 40-60 miles every weekend in events all across Texas and Oklahoma.

Joe has since completed a graduate program in Architecture and now has a career designing multifamily housing. After hearing about ATF and attending an open house, Joe felt reignited to get to a place in his life where does not have to depend on a mobility device to get around. Joe ultimately hopes to strengthen his muscles and get back on a bicycle again. While at ATF, meditation has helped Joe learn how to not be afraid of his fear but to use it as energy to accomplish his goals.