Stronger Everyday: Eric Westover lives his motto

Double amputee to hand cycle during River Bank Run

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - "I was never into running or anything like that," said life long athlete, Eric Westover. "Like they say, a body in motion stays in motion."

He might not have been a runner, but Eric Westover has always been active.

"Every day I've been trying to be better than the day before," said Westover.

Words he lives by now, more than ever.

"It was July 29th of 2015, just a normal Wednesday," said Westover.

Eric decided to go riding with a friend at Silver Lake. They rode up Test Hill, and his friend stopped to take some photos.

"It's a beautiful place," Westover said.

Eric continued south until he had to turn around. All of a sudden, it seemed as if a Jeep came out of nowhere.

"I basically saw it at the last second," said Westover. "It happened like that."

Eric saw blood, but felt no pain.

"Really the only thing I remember in the helicopter is asking the lady how long it would be until we get to the hospital," Westover said. "After that I was out for like 7 days."

That's when he learned the extent of his injuries.

"You're sitting in the bed trying to move your toes and they're not moving," Westover said.

Eric woke to the news that doctors had to amputate his right leg above his knee. His other leg was still in bad shape. Doctors tried everything they could. Nothing seemed to help.

"The doc came in and said we'll probably have to amputate that one also," Westover said. "I was fighting an uphill battle," Westover said.

For Eric, there was only one option.

"People ask me how I made the decision, but I wanted to get better. I wanted to feel better," said Westover.

Almost immediately he did. 

"My body just felt better," said Westover.

After a total of 15 surgeries, including two broken arms, and both legs amputated. Eric was on his way to getting back to normal.

"I got this one on December 15th," Westover said about his left leg. "That's the first time I stood up on my own two feet again. It was an awesome day that day."

Now, Eric is thriving.

Since his accident, he's joined Mary Free Bed's nationally-ranked wheelchair basketball team, took part in last years hand cycle race in the Fifth Third River Bank Run, and has now opened himself up to the thought of Paralympics.

"You've got one or two choices. You can sit in a wheelchair, or get up and be the person you were before," said Westover.

Eric Westover is living his motto. He is stronger and better everyday.

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