Austin Hatch's Amazing Comeback
Some stories defy explanation. All you can do is tell the story. Just think of Austin Hatch.
Austin is a 19-year old high school student at Loyola High in Los Angeles. At 6'6" he is an outstanding basketball player. In 2011 he signed to play basketball for Michigan.
But something happened that interrupted his high school and basketball career. It also postponed his arrival at Michigan.
In June 2011 Austin was in a plane crash that was piloted by his father. His father and stepmother were both killed, but Austin survived. He was seriously injured, however, and was placed in a chemically induced coma for almost two months.
Austin was living in Indiana at the time. After his release from the hospital he moved to Los Angeles to live with his uncle’s family.
Austin made the high school team and practiced, but was not physically able to play right away. He didn’t see his first playing time until just recently, Jan. 8. It was the fourth quarter. Austin was standing beyond the 3-point line when a teammate passed the ball to him. He squared up, shot, and, in his first attempt for the year, sunk the 3-pointer.
The bench and fans of Loyola High erupted in a frenzy of celebration. Players rushed the court, drawing a technical fowl. Loyola coach Jamal Adams was among those who ran onto the court to support Austin. The coach later told the LA Times, "It was the best technical foul I've ever been a part of." Austin’s team won the game, 87-59.
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What an amazing story. But, there is even more to it. The plane crash in which Austin’s father and step-mother died, and in which he almost died, occurred in 2011. But Austin was also in another crash, back in 2003. In that crash his mother, 11-year-old sister and 5-year-old brother were killed. He and his father survived.
That means Austin is a survivor of not just one, but two plane crashes. And not only has he survived, he is back playing the sport he loves. Some stories defy explanation. All you can do is marvel. And maybe learn.
Coach Adams has learned from his player. He said, “It was unbelievable what that kid has gone through and how hard he has worked. That kid has taught me you can come back from anything. Nothing is impossible. It was a spiritual moment.”
When Abraham was nearly a hundred years old and beginning to believe he would never father a child, the angel told him to keep believing, because nothing is impossible with God. I think that applies to Austin Hatch. With God’s role in his life, nothing was impossible. Not one plane crash, not two plane crashes, not a two-month coma could end his life if God wanted him to live.
I know there are other tricky questions, such as why the rest of his family died. Why did God single out this one family member to live? We don’t know. We do know we are going to die sometime. What is amazing is that he lets us live through some of the hazardous situations that we do.
This is a story at which to marvel, and be thankful, for God’s power in our lives.
With Austin's story in mind, what struggles in your life do you feel empowered to face and overcome?