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Shellhammer’s second wind

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Shellhammer during a Cross Country meet before Hurricane Matthew

Shellhammer during a Cross Country meet before Hurricane Matthew

Dawn Wright

Dawn Wright

Shellhammer during a Cross Country meet before Hurricane Matthew

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Last October, S.C. was hit by Hurricane Matthew. The storm did not hit Summerville that hard, but there was almost a much bigger hole left because of the storm. During storm cleanup a tree fell on Victor Shelhammer.

The day after the storm, Shelhammer was in his backyard cutting down trees that were potential falling hazards with his dad. While cutting down trees, Shellhammer thought a tree was falling his way. Instinctively he moved out of the way, but the tree fell the other direction, crashing down on Shelhammer and landing him in the hospital.

“I had a fractured skull, scratches down my arms and a scar down my back. There is currently a hole in my brain, but it wasn’t that bad,” said Shelhammer.

Shelhammer kept a positive attitude throughout the whole ordeal. His attitude has been one of the keys to his speedy recovery. According to a study conducted by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, positivity can speed up recovery time.

Shelhammer was rushed to the MUSC Children’s Hospital and had to stay there for the better part of two months. Meanwhile, he was missing out not only on school, but cross-country as well. Shelhammer was forced to miss the majority of his cross-country season.

“It was terrible missing cross-country season. I was feeling really good about this season, but sometimes things happen,” shared Shelhammer.

A fundraiser was held for Shelhammer on Nov. 19 to help pay for his medical bills. The event was a one-mile run because that is Shelhammer’s favorite event to run.

“I think I’ve been running better since the tree hit me. I wouldn’t say the tree necessarily improved by running, but I think it was more the fact that I couldn’t run that motivated me to become a better runner,” explained Shellhammer.

Shelhammer has not let this incident negatively affect him and continues to be the same happy-go-lucky person he was before the accident. He has even taken on the nickname the Lorax because he said that he “speaks to the trees.”

Now Shelhammer is back on the track and running competitively. Since the accident he has won multiple medals for track: a gold medal in 800-meter relay, and gold medals in the 3200-meter race and 1600-meter race.

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Shellhammer’s second wind