A positive attitude and determined spirit helped Alex Flores, 9, return to his Idaho home well ahead of schedule after being run over by a tractor-trailer in January.
Attitude is everything, especially when you are trying to heal from surgery. Just sitting up in bed can be agonizing at first, and the thought of walking on your own, unimaginable.
Since his traumatic accident in January, Alex has had 28 surgeries and faces more in the future. He had his left arm amputated, spent months in the hospital and came home using a wheelchair.
But Alex has proved that it is not what happens to you that defines your life, but rather, your evaluation of your condition that defines your life. The boy could have wallowed in defeat and bitterness, but instead, he is outside mowing the lawn, back at school and resuming his 9-year-old life.
According to KMVT, the boy was crossing a road on Jan. 7 when he was run over by a tractor-trailer that was pulling three trailers stacked with hay.
“Alex was life flighted to St. Alphonsus in Boise, Idaho where he underwent a six hour emergency surgery for several severe traumatic injuries, one in which included amputation of his left arm,” a GoFundMe page for the boy reads.
Alex’s mother, Brianna Watson, told KMVT that doctors predicted Alex would spend six months to one year in the hospital.
The GoFundMe page, created on January 8, echoed this timeline.
“This is just the start of his journey,” it reads. “Alex has many surgeries to go through and also has suffered a broken pelvis, a fractured skull, and severe leg injury. Alex is looking at months and months of recovery and therapy for this major life change.”
“He is an amazing little boy who is full of life, our ‘Alleycat’ is a fighter! He is one of five siblings and has the biggest heart in which he goes out of his way to take care of everyone and anyone in need.”
Despite the months-long recovery time that was projected, at the end of March, a joyful Alex got to come home.
“For us to be home within three and a half months, four months, is a miracle. Alex is a tough, tough cookie,” Watson said.
Alex told KMVT that the hardest part about being in the hospital was spending a full month on bed rest while he waited for his body to begin to heal.
He would have rather been outside, soaking up sunshine and playing with his friends, but he knew he needed to follow the doctor’s orders.
“I had my tablet, it was still boring on my tablet,” Alex said. “I wanted to go outside and everything. It wasn’t fun, but I had to do it.”
Aside from having his arm amputated, Watson said her son suffered many other injuries, but that couldn’t keep the energetic youngster down and out.
Alex said that while losing an arm was difficult at first, he has moved on.
“It was hard, but I don’t really care anymore. I do care, but it doesn’t bother me,” Alex said.
When Alex did get to come home, he was elated.
He told his mother that he did not want to rely on the wheelchair, and within weeks, he was up and walking around the house. Starting a lawn mower with only one arm proved to be a bit tricky at first, but Alex improvised.
“It was hard to start it, but I got a pair of pliers, clamped it on the — where you have to hold it — and pulled the string and it got started and I started mowing the lawn,” he said.
Returning to school was also better than expected, as Alex was surrounded by support and encouragement from his friends.
“All of my friends was supportive of me. If people would ask me stuff that I didn’t want them to ask about, my friends were like ‘Don’t ask about that,'” Alex said.
Watson said the community has been helpful, loving and supportive of Alex, even hosting fundraisers on her family’s behalf.
“I never expected, in my wildest dreams, for everyone to come together. That was amazing,” Watson said.
When she reflects on the last six months of her life, Watson finds herself getting emotional.
“It makes me want to cry because the help and the love, it’s just a miracle. It’s a miracle that he’s alive,” Watson said.
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