Four years ago, Mujahid Karim was sitting in the passenger seat of a car when it lost control and struck a tree, blowing up on impact.
Mujahid, 33, from Massachusetts, was trapped in the blazing vehicle for over an hour.
After being freed from the vehicle, he was rushed to Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. He sustained 4th-degree burns, causing amputations to both his legs and left hand.
“I Questioned Whether I Was Happy To Be Alive.”
The lifelong athlete didn’t think that he would have the ability to compete again, “At the time, sports were a huge part of my life and identity,” he said, “I had been a division one scholarship football player and an all-American high school basketball player, so you can imagine the mental crisis I was going through, having just lost both of my legs.”
Twenty operations later, ranging from amputations to skin graphs, Mujahid now hopes to compete in the 2016 USA Paralympic Team in Rio, “My hope is to someday make the thought of having prosthetic legs seem cool,” he said.
The former University of New Hampshire football star is now an AK (above-knee) and BK (below-knee) bilateral leg amputee and has a partial left-hand amputation, but he doesn’t let that stop him in his tracks. His natural athletic ability caught the eyes of coaches whilst he was training at a Paralympic track and field clinic in Louisville, Kentucky.
“He’s fast!” said Matt Albuquerque, president and owner of Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics and Mujahid’s lead sponsor. “Muji started improving quickly and one day he said that he wanted to run. We fitted him with custom running legs and he started working very hard.”
“It’s Ok To Have A Bad Day, But Don’t Have A Bad Week.”
The accident, which happened in 2011 left Mujahid with 31% burns to his body, but he believes that disability shouldn’t hold anyone back, “The human spirit has more healing power than the best doctors or most effective medication,” he said, “It’s ok to have a bad day, but don’t have a bad week.”
The inspirational speaker and aspiring Paralympic said, “I could have and probably should have died that night of my accident. I value every day more than ever.”
Watch Mujahid in training below and follow him on Instagram @mkspecial12: