JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — See a special report from Heather Crawford with Drew Kohn and his family on First Coast News On Your Side, Monday 11 p.m.
He wasn’t expected to walk again or even talk, but two years after a life-altering motorcycle crash that left Drew Kohn with a traumatic brain injury, he's encouraging everyone around him to never give up.
“First of all I have to give all of the glory to God because I don't know where I would be without Jesus,” said Kohn.
July 16, 2017, started out as a normal day, but as Kohn headed to the gym his motorcycle collided with a car. The accident left him in a coma for 244 days.
“When you say someone has been in a coma 244 days, they look like death," recalled Drew's mother, Yolanda Osborne-Kohn. "They act like death. They smell like death. You've seen Drew hooked on vital machines. Just nothing, unresponsive for months and months and months. That’s what I kept getting was that I was delusional. Why do I think he's going to wake up?”
She refused to believe that her son would never walk or talk again. Each day, she prayed. Each day, she was by his side encouraging him. She was there when he woke up and there cheering him on when he took his first steps after the accident. Now she is by his side as he rides a bike down a path many never thought he would be able to take.
“When you get something that says from a doctor that he has aphasia, the inability to speak, dysphasia, the inability to swallow, a severe gate deformation which he will never walk on top all of that with all the brain stuff,” said Osborne-Kohn. “Pretty much he was a vegetable, a Glasgow score of a 3, that's the lowest score you can get for a brain injury and today it's a score of 15, that's normal. How? How? I know everyone asks how? God! That guy up there!”
Determined not to be confined to a wheelchair, Kohn is now not only walking and talking but also singing.
“I heard him actually singing Kirk Franklin the words to the song," Osborne-Kohn. "I was trying to hide because I was all excited and didn't want him to stop. It was super great. I mean to have a singing voice when you're not supposed to talk is just amazing!”
Kohn is soaring to new heights with the help of Brooks Rehab Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program. He got to go indoor skydiving at iFLY Jacksonville, inspiring those around him and showing them that with faith anything is possible.
He now uses a special device to help him communicate when his voice is weak.
“I have learned that it is never what it looks like and having more faith,” said Kohn.
Watching him fly, Kohn's mother flashes a big smile.
“It means a lot. It's a sense of normalcy, but it's beyond that because it's part of his personality," Osborne-Kohn said. "It's exciting. Drew was just unpredictable and that part of it is what you love. I just love it. I think it's great.”
As he approaches his 25th birthday Kohn has even bigger aspirations.
“I plan to go back to school and finish college and then when I am done I would like to become a motivational speaker and a preacher,” said Kohn. “God is good so don't ever give up on what God has told you.”
A message his mother echoes.
“You're not supposed to be able to walk with a severed quad," she said. "He's walking, so if God can do that surely, he can do the rest. So, we just want people to just grab ahold of your faith system and trust and believe because God is able and if he can do it for Drew he can do it for anybody."