It was a night the changed
the life of one local sailor forever.
Petty Officer first class Whitney Bellow was hit by a drunk driver in December on the corner of Wheeler Road and Walton Way Extension. Bellow was the designated driver that night and was just taking a quick trip to the gas station. He nearly lost his life in that accident, dying twice at the hospital. And although he's still recovering, he's doing something this weekend to prove to those around him that he's going to make a full recovery.
Doctors didn't think Bellow would ever walk again, but he wouldn't accept that as an outcome. Bellow was on the path to becoming a naval officer, something he's dreamt about his whole life. This weekend he's proving he can still do that. For the past 4 years, Bellow has been taking part in the Tour LaFitte, a 10 mile bike ride in Louisiana, which raises money for the Special Olympics. The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center lent him a tryke so he could try and do it this year. He says this time means more than years past because he's not only proving to himself that he will make a full recovery, but also to those who never thought he would have even made it this far.
"In doing this, I think we're going to show that no matter what obstacle you may encounter, no matter what happens in your life, you fight, you push forward, you overcome those things," said Petty Officer 1st Class, Whitney Bellow. "These experiences are changing, but you have to decide if it will be a change for the positive, making you a better person, trying to improve the lives of others, or if it won't.'
As Bellow regains his physical strength, defying all odds, it's his mental strength that his therapist says is most amazing.
"I was a little pessimistic at first because he was not able to even get a full revolution on a bicycle," said Eric Johnson, Bellow's Therapist. "But as we kept training and doing things, he got stronger and stronger, still has a little compensation he's doing but he's able to do 100 times what he was able to do in the beginning so I'm excited now."
As for the bike that Bellow would normally use, he is lending that to a retired Navy chief so that he can ride with him as part of "Team Bellow."
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