Lynchburg ((WFXR)) - On the night of May 19th, 2017, Austin Kuhn was driving from work in Pittsylvania when tragedy struck.
"I fell asleep behind the wheel and I swerved just for one second and hit a tractor trailer head on," said Kuhn.
Paramedics managed to find Austin still alive inside of what was left of his vehicle. However, the severity of the crash had taken its toll on the left side of his body.
"I was rushed to the ER, they immediately amputated my leg. There was no saving it."
Austin would spend next week in the hospital, with the help of his girlfriend, facing the realization that life as he knew it would forever change.
"I would cry and cry and I would fall back asleep and then wake up like, where's my leg, where's my leg and she just had to keep on telling me and telling me," said Kuhn.
"One week later I'd come to the realization that you're only as strong as however you believe you are."
From that moment on, Austin didn't look back. He qualified for physical therapy through the University of Lynchburg's Community Health Center.
"He came in with two crutches, was in an extreme amount of pain and could barely even walk," said Tyler Martin.
Martin is a part of the Doctorate Physical Therapist, or DPT program. He and two other graduate students worked for almost a year to get Austin back to 100%.
"We did a lot of core work, a lot of lower activities, sometimes we had to take his leg completely off and do exercises and a lot of that was balance training."
Today, Austin is lifting again and able to box jump.
"It's just so humbling to see someone that's so young to go through something traumatic like that and just to see him flourishing now," said Martin.
"I Wouldn't be walking as good as I am, I wouldn't be running today. They trained me in my strength in my leg."
Austin now trains for something greater. He's raising money to head across the country for a 5K amputee relay.
"I'm hoping that I can go to California and meet other amputees and learn their stories and tell them about my story and show them how I've improved myself and hopefully encourage them to go above and beyond what they can currently do," Said Austin.
If you'd like to help Austin, visit, www.gofundme.com/austin-kuhn-challenged-athlete-run&rcid=R01-153851385289-8c93efe7246f47a0&pc=ot_campmgmt_w
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