Your Good News: Belpre man turns life-changing accident into something positive

WTAP News @ 6
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 6:46 PM EDT
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BELPRE, Ohio. (WTAP) - Twenty-seven years ago, Brian Woodyard was driving back from Charleston, West Virginia, when he was involved in a single-vehicle accident.

He doesn’t remember the crash, but witnesses told him it looked like the wind had picked up his truck and blew it over. The witness said that his vehicle rolled over eight times, and he fell out of the truck on the fourth roll. He was in a coma for 13 days recovering.

According to Brian’s wife, Jennifer Woodyard, when Brian was first injured, there was no one to tell him all the things he would still be able to do, only what he couldn’t do. Brian became motivated by this negativity and made him see the accident as a positive and set out to accomplish as much as he could

Since the accident occurred, Brian has done the New York City and Detroit marathons from a handcycle, gone skiing, scuba diving, plays basketball, tennis, pickleball, and white water rafting, amongst other sports.

“I mean, the first day that I met him, he told me all these things that he had accomplished, and I thought, ‘man, most people in that many years haven’t done a fraction of the things that he has done, so it’s just like I wanted to keep hearing more stories about all the things that he had been able to accomplish,” Jennifer Woodyard said.

Brian says that being able to do those sports gave him the confidence he needed to go out and do other things such as finding a job.

Today Brian loves to go and talk to newly injured patients and students at schools, letting them know all the things that are possible for their future and their injury doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

“I try to tell them you know life is not over. Life goes on. There is always someone worse than you on,” Brian Woodyard said. “At first, it’s going to be shocking, but in time, I always say try and find what motivates you, so what motivates me is when someone tells me I can’t do something, that’s what motivates me.”

Brian said to try and pick up something like sports, painting and reading a book that would help motivate them and help ease their minds from thinking about all the negativity.

“So when I go to these leaderships, I talk about positive thinking and always surround yourself with positive people,” Brian Woodyard said. “Try and stay away from negativity and always chase your dreams. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Go for it in life and succeed.”

Brian posts his accomplishments on social media and responds to other posts on Spinal Cord injury pages to motivate others to get out there and do something. He’s even sent the person pictures and videos of what he has accomplished to show you can do anything.

“I think in this day and age, there are so many negative things going on, and you see a great story like this about Brian and how he has taken a bad situation and made it completely positive all the way through and does things that a lot of able body just won’t do or can’t do, but just a positive and mental attitude of hey you can do anything you put your mind to is really inspirational, so we’re glad to be apart of it,” David Haas, president of Morrison Incorporated said.

Morrison Incorporated will be making a $100 donation to the non-profit Challenged Athletes of West Virginia in Brian’s name. If you would like to nominate someone for our next “Your Good News” segment, you can click here to nominate them.

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