ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Before he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan, Tyler Southern loved to ride motorcycles.
Southern served in the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan. In 2010, he stepped on an IED "buried six inches straight down," he said. "I bounced straight up off the building."
He survived, but spent nine days in a coma. He remembers when he opened his eyes, "My mother said before you look down, you were in an accident," he said.
Both of his legs were gone, one arm was gone and the remaining arm was mangled.
Southern came back to Jacksonville months later to a hero's welcome. Thousands lined the streets welcome him back. He was grateful.
"To come together like that, half the darn town," he said. "It was insane."
Southern didn't gripe about his new status when it came to motorcycles. But he was carted down the road in a sidecar.
He missed being free and feeling independent, something he said he experienced while riding his motorcycle, he said.
Fast forward a few years: A motorcycle guru named Justin Von Metal in Reno, Nevada heard about Southern and he made a decision to build him a custom bike was automatic.
"This is a true American hero," he explained.
But then a hitch. He was told, "Well, there's a problem... He's only got one arm and three fingers."
Although Von Metal has built bikes for wounded warriors, this was a brand new challenge, but he was determined to make it work.
He faced questions like: How will he steer? How will he stay stable on the bike? How will he hang on and shift? All questions Von Metal was confident he could tackle.
Von Metal located a trike, a motorcycle with three wheels from South Dakota to turn into Southern's custom bike.
"The dream is coming true," Southern said, fired up. "I have goosebumps."
Supporters have already set up a GoFund Me account. They need to raise $35,126. At last check, about $8,000 has been raised.
Von Metal is donating his shop time and as many materials as he can.
If you want to help Southern get his custom motorcycle click here.