Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer
ROCK RIVER, Clarendon:
IT IS often said lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place, but for 34-year-old Andrew Nelson, that saying is an exception as he lost both feet in separate motor-vehicle crashes while still a teenager.
The Rock River, Clarendon, resident, whose dream was to become an engineer, told Rural Xpress that his tribulations began when he was just 14 years old and was involved in a motor car crash along the Old Harbour main road that resulted in his first amputation.
As bad as that experience was for a 14-year-old boy, worse was yet to come when three years later, he was again befallen by another motor vehicle crash, which took his other leg, and with it, his dream of becoming an engineer.
"Boy, it was rough! After me lose me foot the first time, my world just crumbled. I feel like it was the end for me," recalled Nelson.
He further lamented, "It was even worse when I go back to school and see my friends playing and I can't play with them. It was like half of my life just vanished," said Nelson, sadly shaking his head.
His second near-death experience was even more devastating and life changing as he was no longer able to go to school.
However, losing both legs has in no way impeded Nelson from earning a living as he now does a number of odd jobs - from cutting lawns, conducting on minibuses, painting houses, washing cars, and making furniture.
Nelson said as he grew older, he began to aspire for his own independence, economic and otherwise, and began looking for work. When his endeavours to find a job weren't successful, he first went to learn a trade.
"A friend of mine made a pair of boots for me, so I was able to move around better and I start looking work, but everywhere I went, they said you too short and turned me down. With no job coming my way, I went to learn furniture making," said the ambitious Nelson.
"After a while, the furniture business got a lick - pure imported furniture in the stores - so mi haffi find something else to do to survive," he insisted.
The surprisingly agile Nelson said he has since accepted his loss and isn't bothered by his unfortunate circumstances but isn't giving up hope of landing a nine-to-five job.