Tragedy struck an Ohio family twice. Just over a year ago, Andrew Allen was hit by a car while crossing the road. This happened just days after his 2-year-old brother lost his battle with brain cancer. The circumstances were unimaginable. As Andrew laid in the hospital in a coma and dependent upon life support, his family prepared to say their goodbyes.
Surviving And Thriving
The odds were stacked against Andrew. He was hit by multiple cars and suffered a traumatic brain injury, damage to his internal organs, compound fractures in both legs, and a fractured shoulder blade. He became stable but then he eventually regressed and required emergency brain surgery. And yet, he beat the odds.
If you didn’t know about his accident, you may not even notice any deficit when speaking to Andrew. He has some short term memory problems and he sometimes needs a little more time to think before answering a question. Doctors didn’t think he would walk again but he proved them wrong. Not only did he prove them wrong by walking again, but he recently ran a 5K and completed an 11-week fire and EMS academy! One thing he is certainly excellent at is smiling. Andrew’s smile has gotten even bigger with the newest addition to his family.
Good Things Come In Small Packages (And With Three Legs)
The Allens had talked about finding a puppy for Andrew, so Andrew’s dad had gone to the shelter to take a peek around. The shelter was closed when he got there. But, as he was walking back to his car, a voice called out, asking him if he needed help. It was Denise Johnson, the Senior Operations Manager of the SPCA Cincinnati.
“We started discussing puppies, and he told me he was Mr. Allen from the Allen family. And then the tears flowed,” Denise Johnson told wcpo.com.
She knew she had the perfect match for Andrew.
In the shelter sat a three-legged puppy named Harland. Harland had been left inside a garbage bag that was zip-tied shut and dumped on the side of the road. He was left to die. But, just like his new best friend, Harland beat the odds.
“Today Harland is alive and enjoying every moment to the fullest. He still has some serious injuries that will ultimately cost him his front right leg,” Andrew’s dad, Todd, posted to Facebook. “In the coming weeks when his rear leg fracture is fully healed he will undergo the amputation surgery of the front right leg.”
The two instantly built an unbreakable bond, fortified by their resiliency and second chances at life.
“These two unstoppable survivors have in each other a common bond in their past. It’s an unfortunate and sad connection. But as we’ve all seen so many times before it’s often the broken among us that end up inspiring us the most,” said Todd.
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