Unorthodox Injury with Eric Schwarz
This week, I get to sit down and talk with a guy who was a student of mine when I was doing full-time student ministry, Eric Schwarz. He’s an amazing guy with an amazing story. Here are a few of the bulletpoints form our discussion… though you REALLY need to push play and hear Eric’s story for yourself!
- Eric was born & raised in San Diego
- Grew up at North Coast Church and I knew Eric’s older brother, Tony
- Loved skating & punk rock
- Knew Jesus was real, but wanted to do his own thing
Why didn’t you follow Jesus if you knew it was real?
- “I didn’t care about my salvation at that point. I just cared about having fun.”
- Eric did all the church events, but not any of the relationship with Jesus.
- He knew there was a reason that everyone else believed, but he never took the time to grasp it and engage with it
Eric’s life dramatically changed… and it all started with an accident
- One day, Eric got high after school and skated home
- While following his friend home, his friend crossed the street and as he went to cross, he was hit by a truck.
- Eric woke up in a hospital with no idea why he was there.
- Later, Eric learned that a Nissan Titan hit him at 45 mph, Eric was thrown 30 feet, destroyed his shoulder and smacked his head on the concrete.
- Eric was diagnosed with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury
- After getting home from the hospital, he went right back to his old life of smoking, partying and skating
- While watching his grandfather die, Eric saw what true commitment to Christ looked like.
- His grandfather’s example and strength led Eric to follow Jesus for real
- Now, with this life change, Eric has finished school, advocates for people with TBI and works at a school for the disabled.
What are the long-term impacts of the injury?
- Life long headaches, anxiety, depression, lower functioning motor skills and lack of focus
- Eric has found that creating art helps cope with depression
What are words of advice for people going through brain injury?
- Practice gratitude – gratitude helps you focus on the good things in this world
- Don’t Isolate yourself – talk to others who know more than you do: professionals, doctors, family, friends
- Admit you need help – get the help you need!
What advice do you have for people who are in relationship with others who are dealing with depression or TBI?
- Just be there – you don’t need to do it all
- Don’t just say good words – have good actions
Eric’s favorite Bible verse?
- John 3:16 – it is the entire Bible summed up in one verse. It is the Gospel.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”