In 2003, 8-year-old Austin Hatch boarded the family’s single-engine plane with his mother, father, and two siblings. As the family entered Ft. Wayne, Indiana, the airplane cr*ashed, k*illing his mother and two siblings.
Austin and his father Stephen were devastated after the cr*ash, although vowed to rebuild their lives. Stephen eventually married Kim, the mother of three who adopted Austin as her own. The blended family thrived despite the obstacles.
“We are not defined by our circumstances; I believe we can be defined by how we choose to respond.” Austin Hatch
Austin played high school basketball, earning a scholarship to the University of Michigan. He was well-liked by his peers, confident, and ready to tackle the world to prove overcoming tragedy was more than possible.
A Second Devastating Airplane Cra*sh
Nine days after learning he had won the college scholarship, Austin, his father, and Kimberly headed out on their newly purchased single-engine plane. It cra*shed near the family’s Michigan home, instantly ki*lling Stephen and Kim. Austin survived, although suffered serious injuries.
He spent two months in a medically induced coma to treat traumatic brain injury, a punctured lung, and broken collarbones. After doctors took Austin out of a coma, he had to learn how to walk, talk, and eat, all the basic things in life most of us take for granted, all while dealing with the emotional toll the devastating events had on him.
Austin’s Remarkable Recovery
After one year of treatment, Austin recovered enough to attend university. At the UofM, Austin met Abby, the woman who walked by his side, giving him strength, love, and motivation to keep on, keepin’ on.
The two are now married and the parents of a cute little boy named Hudson.
He worked in the corporate world at Domino’s for some time until he became a full-time nationwide motivational speaker.
Although Austin lost his family in devastating cr*ashes many years ago, their memory is still fresh in his mind and close to his heart.
“I do everything I can to keep their spirit and their memory alive every day.”