In high school, Tre Lawson was one of the best hurdlers in the entire country and was on track to get a full ride to college for his skills. That was until a devastating car accident derailed his plans. However, he’s determined to get back on the track and is working hard to do so. And he recently had a huge victory in his comeback journey!
The athlete, raised in Macon, Georgia, had finished first in a meet on June 11, 2017. Afterward, he rode with friends to celebrate and woke up in the hospital a month later. “The last thing I remember was racing my friends to the car because we were trying to fight to see who was going to get in the front seat,” Tre told InsideEdition.com. “The next thing I know, I woke up in the hospital four weeks later after a coma, not being able to feel my legs.”
The driver of the car fell asleep and the car headed off the road into a 30-foot ravine. Tre was alive, but he had severe damages to his spinal cord, head, and abdominals. “It was a huge depressing moment. I thought maybe this is the last time I’ll be able to run again, my career is over. I was wondering if the coaches would still be interested in me even if I recover in due time,” he admitted. “Looking at the four walls of the hospital room, you become depressed really quickly.”
What was even harder was that Tre had already lost his oldest brother to a fatal car accident the year before. But he was determined to get better in his brother’s memory. The 19-year-old started physical therapy and rehabilitation at Shepherd Center in Atlanta. It gave him a new lease on life and pushed him to work hard in the gym to possibly get out of his wheelchair one day.
After almost two years since the accident, Tre decided to hit the track once more at his alma mater, Westside High School. With the help of a walker and a friend, he walked 200 meters in 30 minutes, a distance he once could cover in seconds. However, this for him was just another step in his journey. “I went out there, and just the feeling of my feet being on the surface that I did so [many] extraordinary things — it’s amazing and it just motivates me to hurry and get back faster,” Tre shared. “I’m going to up it to try to get it where I walk the whole 400 meters and knock it down to 30 minutes and then 20 minutes and then 10 minutes. It’s all a process,” he said.
On his new path, Tre has also started his own organization called Rolling Hope which helps to raise money for other Shepherd Center patients. He’s also studying early childhood special education at Fort Valley State University in Georgia.
Watch more of Tre’s inspiring story below!