Augusto admits that part of it was that he didn't want to get back to normal. After all, being pampered like a baby was awesome. "I could easily have stayed that way forever, relishing all the attention I was getting." There was serious temptation to do so, especially since his accident and one-in-a-million survival odds were a big story in his hometown. "I became the 'wheel boy.' I'd sometimes get recognized by complete strangers, who would congratulate me on making it. I started getting phone calls from people who would have never called me before in my life. These same people were sending me gifts! All of that gave me a really big ego trip."
This put Augusto in a precarious position. The adulation fed his vanity. On top of it, he was a young college student when the accident happened. He was meeting new people, he was no longer the nerdy boy in school, he felt great! When he went back to classes six months later, everyone on campus was incredibly kind and accommodating.
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"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt your dick flashing with my lecture. Go ahead, son."
"At some point, I made a conscious decision not to let all this attention get to my head," he says. "After all, what had I actually accomplished to receive a bunch of praise? I'd simply been lucky to survive. Indeed, physical recovery took a lot of work on my part. I can safely say, though, that tending to my emotional well-being was just as important, and as challenging, as the physical therapy for my neck and eyes. That, to me, was the real recovery process that allowed me to grow from this experience. And I'm so grateful for that."
It's a long, bizarre trip, all thanks to a few defective lug nuts.
"I can't find my wrench ... oh well, hand-tight is probably good enough."
Augusto Coaracy's mind and sense of humor have made a full recovery since the accident. He now treats other people's minds as a public health psychologist in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Related Reading: If you ever find yourself hospitalized, make sure you're up to date on your doctor's lingo. Or check out another subject's experience with almost dying. Have a story to share with Cracked? Email us here.
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