After a beautiful childhood growing up in a small town in Ohio, Matt Schroeder, then 18, was involved in a horrific car accident, which would change his life forever. As a parent you know what this must’ve been like for every one involved. Not only was Matt’s family told that he may never walk again, they were also told he may not survive. The sheer terror that was coursing through his parents’ bodies can’t be explained in words. It can hardly be explained in feelings, and they pray no one ever has to feel what they felt. Matt explains life before the accident as competitive; he saw humor in daily happenings and was a very active young man. “Everything seemed to come easy to me and I’d like to say that I took nothing for granted, but when things are easy I guess it is human nature to over look the blessings given you from that Higher Power.So yes I sort of did unintentionally take things for granted,” says Matt. He liked to describe himself as determined and hardworking, a very faith orientated teenager. When the accident happened it shook his whole world, quite literally and he was forced to start over from scratch. Like when you’re baking a homemade cake; everything looks a wreck when you start, but if you mix the right amounts of ingredients together and bake it the result is tasty.
“I don’t recall the specifics of the accident, and that bothered me a lot at first during recovery, because I wanted to know my mistakes so I could correct them, I just wanted to know.” Now Matt tells us about the accident that happenedon December 6, 1997,which had him comatose for more than 10 weeks “It was out of my control and I cannot change it. After reassessing the situationI am glad, though,that I do not recall the initial terror of that day” As we can all imagine, nightmares make a visit to Matt’s dreams occasionally and he recalls them with vivid details. He has a dream where he is in a car and he sees a poll coming towards him, he tries to turn away but cant. As he ducks, he wakes up in a panic, a very frantic state of heart pounding, sweat pouring fear. There is still a piece of him that wants to know what exactly happened that day.
Today Matt Schroeder is 32years old, and living a healthy active life style. He describes his road of recovery as very difficult, but he maintains a very positive outlook on it all. When asked if he feels as though he lives a “normal” life again his response is breathtaking, “That’s a loaded question. I do feel normal and can function good and all, but I know that there’s always room for anybody to improve.” To have been through as much as he has and yet still know he can get through more is truly astounding. After breaking through the mold the doctors fit him to, saying what he would and couldn’t do, he can’t be stopped! Now Mr. Schroeder is a motivational speaker. He travels the country telling his story to many. He has amazing aspirations and goals, as he is currently writing a self-help/autobiographical type of book, because with his trials, tribulations, and experiences Matt feels he can help others overcome challenges in their lives. When asked what the best advice he can give readers Matt says, “Technically it IS failure when you don’t succeed after several tries. But,failure is the first step to success the next time around! Hop back on your horse and try again.” He really speaks the truth, and it hits home with many when he continues on to explain how good it feels to succeed… especially after you’ve struggled with it repeatedly. So many people feel the same although they hate to agree, that all of those failed attempts just make you stronger, and make the goal that much sweeter. “Always try to do better than what you need. That way even if you fall short of the high standards you’ve set you can still meet or exceed your original goal. That’s what I do.Nobody knows what you can and cannot do but yourself;andeven you don’t trulyknow unless you never stop trying!” That sounds like it could be a famous quote one day. This story has such deep meaning that I think everyone on our planet could benefit from hearing his story. After so many tedious questions, a fun one got thrown in to the mix just to lighten the mood, and we all cracked a smile from his answer.
“Is there a special someone in your life these days Matt?” -Schumacher
“I have not found that one that I can share feelings of love with yet, Sara, but I’m looking. Sara, I was hoping that I could find a girl like you to share life’s experiences with. Are you single or do you have any single friends that are willing to face and tackle life’s obstacles like you do?” –Schreoder
“Are you looking forward to a family of your own one day, to teach all of your lessons to?” –Schumacher
“Yes I want to have a family I can share with my wife and call ours. It will happen if God allows it to.” –Schreoder
Since his accident he has had the opportunity to meet and chat with Chris Reeve, see attached picture of the two of them. The two had time for a one on one conversation and he will hold that dear to his heart forever. Matt, your country thanks you whole-heartedly for your bravery and the lessons you now teach others with your knowledge. Through this tragedy you were able to see the light, and now are showing so many others that same light. Your kind heart and gentle soul will reap rewards for many years after all this time you have put into your speaking engagements. God thanks you, and I thank you too, Matt for being such an inspiration to us all. We can all learn a valuable lesson from Mr. Matt Schreoder and know that no matter what obstacles God has in store for us, with determination and faith we can overcome any and everything! Currently Matt is looking for a publisher for his book and hopes to have it in the final stages of print within the year! If you would like to schedule a speaking engagement with Matt please follow this link to his web page, and click here to send him a personal e-mail.
He is looking to come to Florida, specifically the Pinellas County school district to talk to teens and other people about his life and share his story. Please contact him if you are interested!! [If you are a publishing company, or know some one who is, please forward this article along. We are hoping to get a few hundred views today alone, and just want to get his story heard. He is doing what he can, and is searching for the right company to help him with the final stages of his book. Thank you to everyone who has helped him along the way, and special thanks to Matt himself, for taking the time to speak with me. He is a wonderful man and a great role model for any one. Don’t give up.]