Man who survived terrible crash beats odds by skiing, golfing

Man who survived terrible crash beats odds by skiing, golfing

By Mike Jacobs. CREATED Feb 16, 2012

MILWAUKEE- A man who was nearly killed in a terrible crash has overcome incredible odds.

Andy Meier may be paralyzed -- but that's not stopping him from golfing and even skiing. 

"It's a different way of skiing, but it's my way.  I just love it," said Meier.

Andy Meier shouldn't be skiing.  In fact, he shouldn't even be alive.  But here he is, learning to mono-ski at Alpine Valley.

"This is terrific man.  I'm on a natural high.  This is terrific," said Meier.

Andy Meier is paralyzed from the chest down.  But he's determined to return to a sport he loved.

Andy was critically injured in a tour bus crash in Bosnia nearly five years ago.  Doctors said he wouldn't survive. 

But he made it back to Milwaukee, where he endured months of grueling physical therapy.  Eventually, he learned to walk with assistance.

"I don't worry about the things that I can't do any more.  I just work on the things that i can do," said Meier.

And now, one of the things he can do is ski, just like the old days.

The next "can do" project -- learning to golf again.

Andy has a special para-golfer golf car he can take out on the course.  It even stands him upright -- something that's important in golf -- and in life.

"It's a big deal getting vertical.  For guys that have been in wheelchairs, just to get in this position and be able to talk to people eye to eye...It's a moving moment," said Meier.

Andy admits he had some dark days after his accident.  But his deep religious faith and his family helped him survive and even thrive. 

"It's not what happens to you in life.  It's what you do about it.  So I started to focus on things that I could do.  Not focus on the things I couldn't do," reflected Meier.

Andy beat the odds and is able to walk again.  So look for him back on the golf course this summer, and back on the slopes for the rest of the winter. 

"I used to be able to do 10,000 things.  Now I can only do about 9,000, so I just keep working on those," said Meier.