Truly Thankful for Life - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/20/06 - East Texas

Truly Thankful for Life

by Jessica Cervantez

Cameron Clapp might look like any other 20-year-old but he is different.  Not because he is missing three limbs, but because he enjoys every minute of life.  Why?  Because he almost lost his. It happened just a few days after the September 11th attacks.

Clapp said, "Terrorists crashed the airplanes and all of this drama going on.  I'm sympathetic to the fact these people died and their families are going through the experience."

Cameron and his friends made a memorial for the families. He was 15-years-old then and came home from a night of drinking. He tells me he was admiring the memorial outside when he decided to cross the street of his house to get a different view. Across the street there were train tracks. 

Clapp said, "I had sat down on the train tracks and nodded off.  And within that ten-minute period a train was down the tracks and came along.  The conductors hit the breaks and couldn't stop and ran me over.  My legs got severed, my arms got smashed and cut-off, and my body went into shock right away, and shut itself off, so I wouldn't bleed to death.  It was a miracle that I pulled through, actually made it ya know."

Cameron is missing both of his legs and an arm, but he has his life and that is what matters.

"They told my parents about the possibility that I could die.  Three days later I pulled through and I was fine.  When I finally came to the state of consciousness, I woke up, my legs weren't there, my arms were gone.  I knew I didn't have legs and arms, but I was so happy to still be alive.  Then reality sets into place and I know there was a long road ahead of me to start walking again," he said.

It was a long journey. Three months later Cameron began attempting to walk with little success.  But after two years, he has taught himself how to walk again.

"I consider myself pretty lucky pretty independent, especially when I first started I struggled and it was frustrating.  People experience this in the beginning stages of losing a leg or an arm, you're fighting with your body to work in a totally different way.  I think that I never was really depressed, but I definitely had setbacks, like so much was going on and one little thing would set me off," Cameron said.

Cameron's positive attitude is contagious. He has achieved so much in the past few years.  He participates in disabled sports, he has been in a triathlon, and has been on several TV shows.
But, his passion is telling others his story.

Cameron said, "It's easy for me to say that life can be hard.  Everyone has their own situation, always follow your dreams and whatever challenges you have just try to work through it.  Look at the positive things in life, because that is always going to bring the best out in yourself."
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