Austin Hatch: An Inspiration
Last week at my Leaders Connect Breakfast, I had the honor to host one of my former students, Austin Hatch. As most of you know, Austin is an incredible young man who, after spending over 2 months in a coma following a plane crash, graduated from University of Michigan. Amazingly, this was the second plane crash that he had survived. When he came out of his coma, not only did he have to face the loss of almost all of his family, but he had to learn to walk and talk again before he could resume his life. Beginning in 2020, Austin has embarked on a full time career as a professional speaker. His purpose is to tell his story so as to inspire others who are facing severe adversity. As you can see when you watch the video of the Leaders Connect Breakfast presentation. Austin is an outstanding young man who has inspired us all to have hope, no matter what difficulties we face.
Inspiring Quotes from Austin Hatch
- “When we have gone through tragedy and adversity, one thing we can do is to find meaning in what has happened to us. My purpose is providing hope to others.”
- “When we are trying to recovery from severe injury or illness, we need to surround ourselves with people who can support us.”
- “No matter what our circumstances, we can only lead through the example of our own behavior. When we show we really care about people, they will learn to care about others.”
- “After my injury I realized I could not be the basketball player I was hoping to be. When I learned my job was to carry the bags, I was determined to be the best bag carrier ever in the history of basketball.”
- “Coach Beilein put me in two games where I was able to score two free throws. While two out of five is a low average, it’s better than none.” (Comment: however, Dr. Rob thinks Austin made the best “rebound” in the history of basketball)
- “Even though I struggled to keep up with my teammates, I realized that if my teammates saw me doing the best I could, I would inspire them to be the best they could be.”
- “Not only did I learn to walk and talk again, but I was privileged to have people like coach Beilein around me who always did things the right way and treated me with the utmost respect.”
- “It is hard for me to understand what happened to me because the odds of someone surviving two plane crashes is one in eleven quadrillion.”
- “Even though my family is gone, what I am doing today is dedicated to honoring them and paying it forward.”
- “Everyone is going to face their “big one” some day. It is how we make sense of it that is important. It is not what has happened but how we respond to it.”
- “My wife Abby has been the most important person in my life. Marriage is more of a team sport than anything else.”
If you would like to book Austin for a presentation, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Stotlar: GrieveWell
We were also honored to have another amazing leader, Doug Stotlar, respond to Austin’s remarks. After losing a child in a tragic accident in Dexter in 2000, Doug and his wife Julie started an organization called GrieveWell.
GrieveWell, www.grievewell.com, provides resources and support to adults in grief, as well as those who surround them, in order to build a community that promotes healthy grieving and healing. Just as Austin and Doug represented during the talk, the bereaved can lead a full life after loss.
- 1:1 peer support under the guidance of an LMSW.
- Education programs including Grief in the Workplace
- Outreach during Grief Week April 6 -11 including programs in Ann Arbor and the Science of Grief at the DIA and our annual Kite Festival in June
- Opportunities for support include donations, sponsorships, and volunteering with the organization
Visit www.grievewell.com for more information. Or contact me.