Motivational speaker Sean Carter who physically can not talk, brought a message louder than words when he recently spoke to high school students in Burke County this week.
Carter, now 32, was just five minutes from his home more than 10 years ago, when the driver, also his best friend, lost control of the truck he was driving. The truck spun and slammed the passenger side into a tree, the side where Carter was sitting. In a blink of an eye, that accident left him with a traumatic brain injury and unable to walk.
After years of therapy, his thinking abilities work correctly, but it’s the physical deficiencies that are holding him back. Carter now speaks through a machine hooked up to his iPad. Carter is able to type words into his iPad which transmits them through a speaker. Carter now calls himself a “motivational typist.”
Carter and his mother, Jenny Carter, are originally from Texas and have traveled to several states across the country. Their goal is to spread Sean’s message on how not only drinking and driving is dangerous, but being a passenger with someone who has been drinking could be just as fatal.
“He was just like you 10 ½ years ago. He could have walked into this gym, high-fived his friends, hugged his girlfriend or called me on his cellphone,” his mother said. On March 27, 2005, he went out to a couple bars with two of his friends and was not aware of how much alcohol they had all consumed.
In his travels as “motivational typist”, Carter shows a video from the band Simple Plan called “Untitled,” which portrays a daughter being hit by a drunk driver and how it affects family members and friends. “I felt a kick in my stomach and my back hit the wall and I felt it for years,” Jenny said describing the moment she found out her son was in that terrible accident.
As Carter’s wheelchair slowly raises him up to a standing position as he prepared to speak to students. He says, “I stand here with the help of my wheelchair looking at you thinking how I was once just like all of you, I was not born needing a wheelchair. Choices I’ve made got me here.”
Carter challenged the students with what he hopes will inspire them to make better choices.
“I challenge you to do what is different, I challenge you to not drink and drive, or get into a car with someone who has been drinking, be the example of why it is good to live a life alcohol free. I wish someone would have given me that challenge.”
He told students to think of him before they get in any vehicle with someone who had been drinking or when they are about to change the radio while talking on their cellphone.
“Everyone always seems so easy going about the crime of drunk driving,” Carter said. “It is a crime. When will we start treating it like one?”
For more on Sean Carter’s story, click here.
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