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Teen's life-threatening accident leads to life-changing perspective

Jackson Tedford was on his way to take an exam when he crashed his 1984 truck

KELLER, Texas — Earlier this year, teacher Lindsey Hoyt was preparing for the first day - when it became her worst day.

Lindsey was decorating her classroom at Bear Creek Intermediate in Keller for the first day of school when the phone started ringing.

“They let me know that my son had been transferred to Baylor by ambulance and that I should meet them there,” she recounted.

Her only son, 17-year-old Jackson Tedford, was on his way to take a college exam when he lost control of his 1984 Chevy S10 and slammed head on into the median.

He was rushed to Baylor Scott and White-Grapevine Level II trauma center with a broken neck and a traumatic brain injury.

“How well will he walk,” Hoyt remembered asking. “Will he be able to feed himself? Things like that, we just didn’t know. It was a waiting game.”

Pretty soon, though, Tedford was up and walking again. His mom documented his progress on Facebook.

All signs pointed to a complete recovery. Everyone expected Tedford to return to normal. Until they realized the accident had made a permanent impact on his heart.

Tedford said being so close to death made him think a lot about life.

“It’s really not about yourself at all,” Tedford said. “Treat people with kindness and love. That’s really a big thing, actually.”

That’s why one of the first things he wanted to do when he was better was say thank you - to the first responders who saved him and the nurses who cared for him.

Before the accident, Tedford was still trying to figure out his plans for the future. Now, he said, he knows exactly what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

“When I die I want to be known as a loving person,” Tedford said. “A kind person more than just anything else.”

A good reminder that someone’s worst days can sometimes be their biggest blessing.

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