The surgeries continued. The physical therapy continued.
Zad had to finish middle school at home and was so thankful for the teacher who helped him make sure his work was done.
He had to learn how to use his left hand again. He had to learn how to walk again. He had to keep himself from being bored and not losing his mind.
By age 15, he was learning his limitations physically. His right side was compensating for his left side. At almost 16, after mostly healing, he decided to join the fire dept.
One of the dads from Scouts ran with a local fire dept, and he was there the day the accident happened. Zad thanked him for being there, and at that point, he knew he wanted to give back. The fire dept was there in his time of need, and he wanted to be there for others in their time of need.
He ran at four different fire departments till his early 20’s. He also ran EMS two different companies. He joined the local wild land firefighting crew and still serves with the local with them today.
In 2006, Zad’s family moved out of the house that his dad last lived. It was hard for him to leave that house. There were so many things at that house that made him remember his dad and brother: Micah’s height chart, projects him and his dad did together and so many other happy times.
He missed his dad the most when he finished his Eagle Scout project. He started it with his dad. His dad wasn’t able to finish his own Eagle Scout project because his Scoutmaster died, and the troop fell apart. Zad’s Scoutmaster, his dad, also died in the middle of his project. Zad made a promise to his dad that he would finish the project, and he did.
Thanks to the other troop leaders, Zad was able to keep the promise. His community came through in a big way to help him get his Eagle Scout Award.
By the time they moved, he was keeping busy with work, fire calls and hanging with friends.
Life was in its new normal.
One day, while showering, Zad knew something wasn’t right. He went downstairs to his godfather’s office, who was now married to his mom, and asked him his opinion about a mass he found.