Eddie was told during his rehabilitation process that he would never drive again, which he felt was one of the worst things he heard during the entire process… As a testament to his character, or what his wife would refer to as his stubbornness, today he races cars for fun.
Mr. Eddy Welker started out on an electrical project on May 13 in 1997 just like he would any other. Working for an Electrical Co Op out of Oklahoma, Mr. Welker was assigned to a job in a small town just north of Wichita Falls, Texas. Mr. Welker went up in the bucket lifter of his truck with a wire coiled around his right shoulder. When the wire was crossed over the supposed de energized line, Mr. Welker quickly realized that it was not. The other end of the coiled wire was on the ground and completed the circuit. Eddie was accompanied by a brave helper that was able to lower the bucket and get him on the ground. Eddie does not account any memory from the day of the accident and subsequently a month after. Mrs. Welker received the terrifying phone call and quickly made her way to the ER. Once there, she recalls Mr. Welker being conscience. His upper extremities and face were badly burned from the accident. The attending physician tried to inform Mrs. Welker that he may in fact lose both his hands. She was unwilling to accept this news and was determined to have him transported to Parkland in Dallas. Mr. Welker informed the medical staff that he was not going to get in the helicopter without his wife. They were willing to let her go with him as she later found out that they felt he would not survive the accident. Their four children were called and told them to meet him at Parkland. The physicians told them that night they felt he wasn’t going to make it. Next morning, he was still stable, so the decision was made to salvage what was possible. No hope was given because of all the infection and the severity of the accident. But miraculously after 3 weeks, 4 amputations, MRSA and a severe case of pneumonia, he was removed from his induced coma. He was removed from ICU to acute burn center with a shoulder and above the elbow amputations.
Later, Eddie recalls waking up and thought somebody was injured, but didn’t know it was him. It took awhile for him to process that he didn’t have any arms. In the burn unit, he was getting bed sores as a result of the burns and felt that he was on a boat from the rocking sensation of the bed. During the process, Eddie remembers seeing palm trees as he was getting water debridement. Started rehab with decreased pain medication, but was still having daily debridements performed.
The Welker’s ventured to Oklahoma City where he received his first arm with the intent that they may be the only one. Mr. Welker quickly informed the prosthetist that he was born with two arms and he would leave the world with two. The next year, he received his second prosthetic arm. Once being released from rehab, he was able to go home to Vernon, Texas in 1998, where the real world complications set in causing Eddie a lot of frustration. The frustration lasted about a month, as Mr. Welker had the determination to be the best and refused to let depression set in.
Eddie was told during his rehabilitation process that he would never drive again, which he felt was one of the worst things he heard during the entire process. Disregarding the orders of a van and instead opting for his Truck, Eddie recalls the learning curve being huge, but he did it within a year. By 1999, the Welkers moved to Granbury on the lake to make a fresh start with all their children living in a 40 mile radius from Grandbury. Eddie learned how to drive a boat, ride a bicycle, and finally started his great passion, racing in 2001. Eddie states that a lot of thought must be put into everything and every task to be accomplished. “It’s not as simple as deciding to go buy a lawn mower and mowing.” With five grandchildren ranging in age from 28 to 7, the Welkers’ stay very active with their family.
As a testament to his character, or what his wife would refer to as his stubbornness, today he races cars for fun. Eddy started racing with the assistance of his wife, Linda, after a day at the race track watching. While at the track, Eddie turned to Linda and said he thought he could do it. “How hard can it be? You just go straight and turn left!” Through his strong will and perseverance Eddy continues to accomplish tasks daily that most would deem impossible.