Juan Diego High School student Pete Benda suffered a traumatic brain torsion injury while changing out a lamp at his school's theater in Draper, Utah. At a height of approximately 30 feet, the lift Pete was in fell over, causing Pete to crash onto the stage head-first. According to mayoclinic.org, a traumatic brain injury like Pete's can result in seizures, slurred speech, comas, or even death. Pete, however, had other plans.

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With Pete's parents literally and figuratively by his side every step of the way, he began working with a team of therapists who were committed to staying positive on his path to recovery. The therapists instituted a "when he recovers" mentality versus an "if he recovers" one. Pete could hear everything. He listened. He believed.

Pete and his family were in the car one day when suddenly something bizarre happened. His father Rob was massaging Pete's throat when out of the blue he said the word "mom." Shocked and elated, tears of joy began flowing from the eyes of everyone inside the vehicle. Pete's posture immediately started to open up, and his demeanor became more and more Pete-like. Pete, it seemed, was going to be Pete again.

His attitude and spirit in the wake of this tragedy is remarkable. After surviving this monumental obstacle, he states "I'm ready" for anything else that may come along in life. It's hard to argue that he can't tackle any problem that gets thrown his way. Pete is now running and swimming and making a difference in the world. I know he will continue to achieve great things and make his parents proud.