When you fall, you get back up

Story by Eli Wiles, Walker Valley Freshman

Nine years ago, after being hospitalized for over two months and being in a coma for six weeks, freshmen math teacher, Jeffrey Garrett, proved that when one falls he can get back up.

On October 4, 1987, Jeffrey Garrett came into this world at a hospital that used to be called Bradley Memorial. “I was born right here in Cleveland,” he says. As he grew up with his three brothers and four sisters, he had a different occupation in mind. “I have always wanted to be a farmer, I just love working outside,” he said.

Sadly, because he never acquired the land he needed, his dream of being a farmer was not fulfilled. As he grew older and progressed in school, he got involved in many sports. His main focus was track. “I ran all the way from birth,” he said with a chuckle.

After being involved in sports many of his years, Jeffrey decided he wanted to fly. “I got my private pilot’s license when I was a freshmen,” he explained. even though he was in love with sports, he also enjoyed math and science. After attending Bradley, he graduated in ’06. he then went on to get his major in aeronautical engineering.

He later joined the Air Force to seek out his desire to fly. “I just wanted to fly, it gives you a whole different perspective on life,” he said. His time in the Air Force was mainly in training. “I planned to graduate from the academy,” he said. He fell short of that goal.  He was halfway through his junior year at the academy when his horrific accident occurred.

On February 7, 2009, whiles rock-climbing at a place called Garden Of The Gods, something went wrong and he fell fifty-six feet onto a concrete sidewalk. He suffered memory loss not even remembering what had happened. “What I’ve been told is that when I went to repel, I jumped strait back and hit the ground,” he explained. This led to him being in the hospital for two months and seven days.

After he got out of the hospital, he left the Air Force after three years and three months of service, entered college, and proceeded to earn bachelor’s degree in math and science. He then did some tutoring at Lee University. This helped him make the decision of being a teacher.

He now enjoys his life and job. He has a wife and one child and is happy. He says, “I enjoy helping people out because I’m good in the profession”. He has had a great time at Walker Valley. “I’ve enjoyed it,” he says. When asked about retirement he said, “I don’t think I’ll ever retire, I’m twenty-eight. Kids see me as old, but I don’t feel old”.

This goes to show that whenever one is put in difficult situation, and times may be hard, he can still get back up.


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