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THE STORY OF AUSTIN TIGHE TOUGH MUDDER, TOUGHER MAN
This month, I want to share an amazing story. I’ve worked with many men and women who had to face insurmountable odds after a work- related accident. One of these people who I’ve had the privilege of working with is a man named Austin Tighe. As I’ve mentioned in a previous issue of this newsletter, I met Austin shortly after he’d suffered a terrible accident. Austin worked as a tree cutter, loading branches into the chipper shredder. One day his foot got caught in a branch, and he was pulled in. It was the stuff of nightmares. By the time the other guys got the machine off and pulled Austin out, he’d lost almost his entire right leg. To say Austin had it rough would be a gross understatement. We handle some rough cases, but Austin’s injury was as bad as it gets. He needed skin grafts, a lot of operations, physical rehab, therapy, and years of recovery. In the beginning, it looked like there was no hope. Austin didn’t know what he would do with his life after losing his leg. Meanwhile, his boss was trying to claim that Austin had been a subcontractor to get out of taking care of him. Turns out, the boss didn’t have workers’ comp insurance. To make matters even worse, Austin suffered some hard personal losses shortly after the accident. I was really worried about him, but Austin showed his grit from day one. Austin once told me that during his accident, missing a leg and losing blood fast, he could feel his life slipping away. He knew if he didn’t
stop the bleeding, he was going to die. Despite his horrific injuries, Austin had the presence of mind to borrow a belt from a co-worker and wrapped it tightly around his leg before he passed out. The doctors later said he saved his own life. This kind of grit is what helped Austin get through even the darkest of days. It wasn’t easy, and some days he
wanted to give up, but Austin found that place inside himself to go forward and push through. We got an award for his checks, and today he has a great prosthetic leg that’s designed to help him do just about anything. Austin proved how tough he and his prosthetic are last June by running the Tough Mudder Virginia 2019. The Tough Mudder is this wild 10-mile race covered in mud and obstacles. It’s an intense experience, built around endurance and teamwork. This race pits you against yourself, not other racers. The idea is to see what you’re really made of and finish stronger than you started. Austin has proved, a dozen times over, what kind of strength he’s made of.
When you look at the picture of him holding his son after crossing the finish line, you’d never imagine this man had been close to giving up hope in a hospital just three years ago. He has plans to start his own business, run more races, and live his life.
I was really glad when Austin gave me permission to share his story. He’s a very inspiring person. Right now, we could all use a little more inspiration in our lives, to remember that we can find that strength inside ourselves to get through the darkest of days.
If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-667-8295 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies That Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers’ Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake. Call now, before it’s too late. –Joseph Miller
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