Paralyzed from the waist down following a 2005 car accident, Dwight Owens has shared his story of triumph over personal tragedy with thousands across the country. On Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m. in Stout Hall on The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus, he’ll tell that story as part of the fall 2012 University Forum series.
Owens considers his survival of the accident a miracle. Rear-ended by a 71 year-old drunk driver, his injuries included punctured lungs, six broken ribs, severe internal injuries, a broken back, a dislodged liver and a severed spine. Doctors doubted his ability to survive the ordeal.
After nearly a year of hospitalization that included life support and rehab, Owens spent the next two years enduring more surgeries, medical setbacks and continued rehabilitation. Keeping a promise he made to God, Owens began sharing his story to inspire others and advance the cause of the disabled. He has spoken to more than 40,000 people in approximately 120 presentations to various groups and organizations across the country.
A native of Taylorsville, Miss., Owens serves on the board of directors for the South MS Public Accessibility Association, which advocates for the disabled and their legal right to access facilities through the Americans with Disabilities Act. He also organized a support group for men with disabilities and their families. Among his many honors and awards, Owens is the 2010 recipient of the Spirit of Service Award from the National Corporation for Community Service.
Along with author John Praet, Owens wrote “Still Standing,”a book he hopes opens the eyes of those in the able-bodied community to the challenges faced by the disabled, and shows that a person with a disability can still lead a productive and fulfilling life.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Southern Miss Honors College at 601.266.4533.