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CORYDON, Ind. (WDRB)--A local firefighter who was critically injured in an ATV accident is helping others.
"His brain was injured but he just really didn't know what was going on," says Lynn Whittaker, whose husband was injured.
Trevor and Lynn Whittaker spoke to students Thursday at Corydon Intermediate School about the dangers of riding an ATV without a helmet.
"I was one of the people who didn't wear it and here I am now and all I had to do is put a helmet on," says Trevor Whittaker, who was injured in ATV crash.
In August, Trevor was riding his ATV when he hit a deer and flipped several times. Lynn is a teacher at the school was in class when she got a call from her sister.
Lynn says, "She said, I am not sure what's going on but Trevor has been in an accident and he is being airlifted to University Hospital."
Right away, Lynn prepared for the worst. Saying, "I definitely had a conversation with my sister on the way to the hospital about telling our kids that their dad hadn't made it."
Trevor eventually pulled through, but ironically as a result of not wearing a helmet...part of his skull was removed.
Trevor says, "I kick myself everyday for not wearing it."
And now he has to wear a helmet to protect his head. "Because the only thing between my brain and something hitting it is my hair and some skin," says Trevor.
The road to recovery for Whittaker has been a long one, but it's getting better because of ongoing treatment at the Frazier rehab center. In fact, doctors believe he will eventually make a full recovery.
"The only thing that they are thinking that may not be a hundred percent is his left leg," says Lynn.
That means Whittaker can eventually return to his position on the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department. In another bit of irony...it is the department that responded to his accident.
Lynn says, "Almost every body at the scene knew him or has worked with him in some capacity as a firefighter, emt or reserve police officer...including his father? Including his father."
ATVs are popular in this part Kentuckiana so the Whittakers hope their message and their warning are getting through.
Trevor says, "If me almost dying doesn't get into their heads...that they need to wear a helmet than nothing will."
Trevor is scheduled to have surgery on Monday to replace part of his skull.