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Southern Indiana teen, family share story of recovery following ATV crash

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Posted at 1:31 PM, Jul 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-21 19:20:02-04

INDIANA — Austin Fox is your typical 17-year-old.

“I like to hunt, fish and ride 4-wheelers,” Fox said.

Nearly one year ago, Austin's life changed forever.

Fox was riding his ATV’s with his friends in southern Indiana when his family says he hit the back of his friend's ATV, flew over the handlebars and landed on his head.

He was not wearing a helmet.

“I don’t remember any of it,” Austin Fox said. Fox's family said the 16-year-old was rushed Indianapolis where he was diagnosed multiple skull fractures and brain injuries.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says every hour four kids are sent to an emergency room for an ATV-related injury.

“I had two skull fractures and they had to take a piece of my skull off because my brain was swelling,” Fox said.

Andrea Dunn, Austin’s mom, says that watching her son lay in the hospital bed was one of the hardest moments of her life.

“The first 72 hours were the hardest because the brain is so complex,” Dunn said.

Austin spent two months recovering from surgeries, allowing his brain to heal and relearning to walk and use all of his motor skills.

“We were told that he would have a one percent chance of ever being normal again," Dunn said. "(Today) He is completely back to normal again."

Now Austin is nearly fully recovered – his mom with a message for other parents.

“Stay strong. Kids are wild they are going to be crazy and they are going to get into accidents. Don’t lose faith,” Dunn said.

Fox says his message to others is to wear a helmet.