From tragedy to triumph

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

SULPHER SPRINGS, TX (KLTV) - Nine years, 11 months, and 29 days ago, Grant Alexander's life was changed forever. He and his Sulphur Springs family were on their way to Tyler when a 16-year-old driver ran a stop sign, and hit the family's SUV. Grant was driving and over-corrected, rolling the car into oncoming traffic, right into the path of an oncoming van. Grant's mother died instantly. Grant was in a coma for 10 weeks. Now, on the eve of the anniversary of that accident, we sat down with Grant, and his father as they look forward to a future of possibilities.

"I am doing exceptionally well," said Grant, pushing the vacuum across the room.

Some would say it's not the most exciting job in the world, but Grant is not most people.

"Back when I was told I would never be able to do much of anything," he said. "I knew, 'Grant, yes, you will one day.'"

After the accident, then 15-year-old Grant and his 11-year-old brother, Collin, were flown to two separate Tyler hospitals. Collin had injuries to his lung, leg and back. Grant had a traumatic brain injury. He would spend the next 10 weeks in a coma.

"We didn't allow anyone to come into that room unless they were going to speak something positive over Grant," said Grant's dad, Dwight Alexander.

Dwight was away on business when the accident happened. He says he hurried back to split time beside both his son's hospital beds.

"We live in a microwave world where we want something instantly and with a brain injury, it just doesn't work that way," said Dwight. "We had a choice to either accept the idea that he's going to be in a nursing home in a coma for the rest of his life or believe that he's going to come out of that, and I chose to believe that things were going to get better."

"Going from running at night and being on the golf course everyday, to being stuck in a hospital bed and then a wheelchair was just...I don't know how to describe it," said Grant.

He learned how to feed himself again. It took 15 months, but Grant started speaking - 19 months, for walking. Today, he's working, keeping things clean and green at Canhelp, a social services provider in Sulphur Springs.

"Look at Grant," said his dad. "We're not 10 years ago, we're now and we're blessed."

The family has grown. Dwight married Michelle after she lost her husband and the father of her three children in a motorcycle accident. They share their experiences in a book called Through These Doors.

"It was kind of a ministry that Michelle and I both can reach out and say we kind of understand," said Dwight. "Whether it was a hospital room, or a job opportunity for Grant, 10 years later, we have to continue to open the doors because you don't know what the Lord's got for you on the other side."

Grant shares that same faith.

"If you keep yourself in God's good grace, he will protect you," said Grant.

The good news keeps on coming. Grant's brother Collin is getting ready to graduate from Abilene Christian University. Grant says he has a heart for reaching out and helping people, and can see himself in ministry someday.

Click here for more information on Dwight and Michelle Alexanders' book, Through These Doors.

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