News

Brad Hurtig inspires Wadsworth High Schools students to “Find a Way”

BY CARLEY SORRENT

On Friday, December 3, Brad Hurtig came to Wadsworth High School to give an inspirational talk. Hurtig is an amputee who was a very involved sportsman in high school. In fact, he was the starting middle linebacker on his football team.

His main message to the students was to stay positive and to, “find a way.”

“I have found that how you take your setbacks will, in many ways, change your life,” Hurtig said.

Brad Hurtig speaks to the seniors. He is talking about his accident. PHOTO BY ARI KASER

This is true in the case of Hurtig’s story. In the summer after finishing his sophomore year, he and his brother decided to work one night at a friend’s factory. They were all working with a 500-ton power press. It required Hurtig’s friend to turn his back while he pushed the button to lower it.

“I noticed one of the parts wasn’t quite right,” Hurtig said. “I reached back in, not knowing that my friend had pressed the button.”

Hurtig had no time to pull his hands out.

“The first thing I remember was hearing someone else’s scream,” he said.

Hurtig said that he began to ponder the fears and possibilities of never being able to play football again on his way to the hospital. As his boss drove him to the emergency room, Hurtig knew his life had just changed.

“I started to think about my life and how different it was gonna be,” he said.

And, in fact, it was different. When Hurtig was in the hospital, he saw just how much he needed to adjust to.

“I needed help doing everything,” Hurtig said.

Seniors try to pick up water bottles without using their hands. Hurtig gave all the volunteer’s water bottles afterward. PHOTO BY ARI KASER

When he gave his presentation on Friday, Hurtig asked for volunteers. Their task was to pick up and drink from a water bottle off the ground. The only catch was that they were not allowed to use their hands. This whole activity came from a personal experience. 

“It was the end of practice— I’m thirsty and I see a water bottle at my coach’s feet,” Hurtig said. “Then he says something that would change my life, ‘If you’re thirsty enough, you will find a way.’”

Hurtig believes that this message holds true every day for him.

“He forced me to see my circumstance differently,” Hurtig said.

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