LATEST NEWS

Double Amputee Overcomes Obstacles To Inspire Others

Feb 21, 2019, 11:01 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On the helipad by Primary Children’s Hospital, Kacey McCallister took selfies in front of, and checked out the cockpit of a Lifeflight helicopter. It’s the first time he’d been near one, since he was flown to Primary Children’s back in 1992.

“This is pretty incredible, being back at Primary Children’s Hospital,” McCallister said. “It’s changed quite a bit. I don’t remember too many things about the building.”

Though McCallister doesn’t remember the flight, he was transported aboard a different Lifeflight helicopter, after he was struck by a semi-truck, while visiting relatives, in Roosevelt. He was 6 years old at the time. He darted into the road, ahead of his family, to cross the street.

“About midway, I paused, probably seeing the truck coming,” McCallister said. “(I) even jumped to get out of the way at the last minute.”

It was too late. McCallister’s left leg was severed. His right leg was broken in seven places, and was ultimately amputated.

Photo credit: Kacey McCallister

One of the two nurses who showed McCallister around the helicopter Thursday, was Laurie Merrick. A Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse back in 1992, she cared for McCallister the night of the accident.

“He was darling; cute red hair, and he cried all night that his legs hurt,” Merrick said. “It was hard. I cried with him, because it was sad.”

Merrick said that night changed her, because she had children around the same age.

“I randomly would just start crying when I’d think about this little boy with no legs, and what was going to happen,” Merrick recalled.

Photo credit: Kacey McCallister

McCallister, however, didn’t allow his circumstances to control his life. Having a love for sports, he found many ways to compete as a child. Nowadays, he participates in Spartan races, which have some of the most difficult obstacle courses for anyone.

“Typically you don’t think these obstacle course races are for para-athletes, but that’s why I’m out there,” McCallister said. “I’m showing that para-athletes can do anything, and overcome any obstacle.”

Now living in Oregon with his family, McCallister works as a motivational speaker; inspiring others to overcome their obstacles, much like he has.

“It stopped being about me,” McCallister explained. “It stopped being about what I could do, because now, I know I can do it. It is no longer about me anymore. It is about other people. Showing other people what is truly possible.”

Photo credit: Kacey McCallister

That’s also part of the reason why McCallister was at Primary Children’s Thursday. He gave his motivational presentation to a crowd of staff from the hospital.

“This is an awesome experience, to get to see him, and see how successful and how amazing his life is,” Merrick said. “You never know whose life you change and how they do, and to have him come back and see him, 26 years later, is awesome.”

McCallister says his hope is to help others like him find their way to enjoy life and find a way to live it to its fullest.

“A disability, a challenge in life, it’s not the end goal. It’s not the ending,” McCallister said. “We identify by how we overcome, not what happened to us.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Latest News

$400 million set aside for tax cut...
Brooke Williams and Larry D. Curtis, KSL TV

Gov. Cox signs controversial bills on trans surgeries, student vouchers

Gov. Cox signed two bills Saturday morning and released statements regarding each.
7 days ago
police cars lined up by school...
Brooke Williams

UPDATE: Three in custody after shots fired at Taylorsville High School, police said

Three are in police custody after gunshots were fired in the parking lot of Taylorsville High School Thursday afternoon.
9 days ago
...
Madison Swenson, Brooke Williams, Ladd Egan, & Michael Houck, KSL-TV

UPDATE: West Valley City Police found driver of deadly hit and run

Police are searching for the suspect of a fatal hit and run that happened Monday night in West Valley City.
3 months ago
Crime scene tape and a UPD vehicle by a car involved with the shooting, damaged....
Brooke Williams and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Woman injured in Murray shooting Sunday

A shooting in Murray between several drivers.
3 months ago
Black plumes of smoke and fire from plane crashing...
LM OTERO and JILL BLEED Associated Press

Two aircraft collide, crash during Dallas air show

The Federal Aviation Administration says two aircraft have collided at air show in Dallas. It was unclear how many people were on board the aircraft and if anyone on the ground was hurt. Emergency crews were responding to the scene at the Commemorative Air Force Wings Over Dallas show at the Dallas Executive Airport. The FAA says a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and a Bell P-63 Kingcobra collided and crashed around 1:20 p.m. Saturday. Several videos posted on Twitter showed two aircraft appearing to collide in the air before they both rapidly descended, causing a large fire and plumes of black smoke to billow into the sky. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were launching investigations.
3 months ago
A young person is seen with an electronic cigarette in the bleachers....
Brooke Williams

More than 1 in 10 youth report current tobacco use, CDC announced

The CDC and FDA released a study that found 3.08 million, or 11.3% of middle and high school students reported using a tobacco product in the past 30 days.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Double Amputee Overcomes Obstacles To Inspire Others