Golfer overcomes paralyzing accident to play golf

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    By Walker Posey

    Golf can be a difficult and frustrating sport for anyone, even for professionals.

    But imagine playing golf using only one arm. That’s what Jason Hill does.

    Hill is pretty unique in that he not only plays with one arm, he plays really well with one arm.

    Holes-in-one, sub-par rounds of golf and celebrity events are not uncommon for this 22-year-old player.

    On August 18, 1987 9-year-old Jason was hit by a semi-truck while sitting on a street corner in San Diego.

    “I was sitting on my bike waiting to cross the street,” said Hill. “My best friend was putting up posters to try and find his lost dog.”

    The semi-truck was estimated to be traveling at speeds close to 50 miles per hour. Hill suffered extensive injuries to the left side of his head, causing him to lose control of all activities and functions on the right side of his body.

    Such things as speech, memory and the use of his right arm were totally gone.

    “I woke up two weeks later in Children’s Hospital,” said Hill. “The doctor said I had no chance of walking and that I would not be able to play any sports.”

    Hill was in a comma for two weeks but would not leave the hospital for the next 12 months.

    After spending one year in the hospital, Hill regained his memory and speech as well the ability to walk but not the use of his right arm.

    Hill said his faith, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was a big factor in his recovery.

    “The doctor doesn’t know as far as how miracles can happen,” said Jason. “My Bishop gave me a blessing when I was still in the comma and said that I would be OK. Obviously God was with me because you should be dead if you get hit by a truck going that fast.”

    Hill not only got better, he set out to prove that he could anything he set his mind to.

    “I can’t think of a more persistent person than Hill,” said Julie Hill, Jason’s mom. “Jason is never satisfied with one percent less than his best.”

    After the accident Hill decided to try and play sports. “I started to think of what would be the toughest sport to play one-handed.”

    Hill decided to try golf and six months later, at the age of 12, he recorded his first hole-in-one.

    Hill continued to practice and in high school decided to go out for the team.

    After being told by the coach, his freshman year, that he was not allowed to try out, Hill’s persistent nature showed through.

    The following year, as a sophomore, Hill not only made the team, but became one of the better players for the school.

    He would normally shoot in the mid 70’s to low 80’s but recorded a 69 in a high school tournament at the La Costa Spa and Resort Country Club in San Diego.

    At the age of 19 Hill tied the course record of 62 at the Freemont Golf Course carding two eagles and 7 birdies, and has tied the course record at two other clubs as well.

    “I like to play my own game,” said Hill. “I establish a score and try and get to that.

    Hill missed qualifying for the Mercedes Challenge, a PGA tournament, by just three strokes at the age of 19.

    His aspirations to play on the PGA tour have diminished. “I wanted to play for a long time,” said Hill. “My mom wants me to play so bad.”

    For Hill, playing the tour is not as important as pursuing his dream of helping others with disabilities.

    Perhaps his most noticeable accomplishment in golf is participating the Native American Indian program.

    Hill travels the country playing in Native American Celebrity golf tournaments that benefit the program.

    He participates in clinics with golf legends such as Johnny Miller and Billy Casper, and also played this year with PGA tour winner Notah Begay.

    He has played with football stars Steve Young, Randall Cunningham, Terrell Davis, Warren Moon and Marcus Allen, just to name a few.

    Today Hill is a sophomore attending Utah Valley State College majoring in communications. He hopes to use his degree and life experiences to become a motivational speaker to help those with disabilities.

    “I have spoken at several youth conferences, stake conferences and wards,” said Hill.

    His message to people everywhere is simple, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

    Hill credits his family to his recovery. “They were with me every step of the way,” said Hill.

    From tragedy to success Hill has traveled the journey and come out on top. “If your progressing don’t stop,” said Hill.

    Whether on the golf course or behind the podium, Hill is an inspiration to people where ever he goes.

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