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From Near Death to a Golf Life: Tracy Ramin Beats the Odds...and Everyone Else

It's the year 1998, and just like any other day, Tracy Ramin is working in a construction business, traveling down I75 towards Flint. His partner couldn't make it, so Ramin was driving solo.

A ladder falls off the truck while he's driving, so Ramin pulls over on the shoulder. Traffic is steady, but not overwhelming. Needing to pick the ladder back up, Ramin gets out of the truck and checks the road, it looks clear. A car passes a semi on the right side...it doesn't see Ramin, Ramin doesn't see the car. Ramin flies more than 100 feet on impact, injuries engulfing his body. His head the size of a basketball, his left leg a bloody mess, his left arm the same fate...Ramin is clinging to life.

He lays in a coma at Hurley Medical Center for a week, his left leg amputated because the damage was beyond repair. He loses all of his blood...plus two pints. Given a two percent chance to live, breaking 90 on the golf course doesn't seem like it means that much anymore, yet, it's the sport of golf which brings him back. He's out of the hospital in 24 days, and playing golf just three months later.

After waking up from the coma, Ramin recovers, and begins rehabilitation. A golfer before the accident, he uses the game of golf to bring his body back, and despite adapting to a prosthetic leg, the results are staggering.

He gets better every day, and competes in his first Amputee Golf Tournament in 2005. He looks around at the other competitors, he may not have a left leg, and is unable to reach his arm above his shoulder, but he's humbled seeing those with no legs and no arm attack the game of golf. He does the same.

He credits the doctors at Hurley and McLaren with his progress, which doesn't just cover success on the local level, but the state, national and international level now as well.

"I don't think I'd actually change it at this point," Ramin, who's won two titles at the state level, and finished in the Top-10 several times nationally, says. "I've done so many things and have had so many opportunities at this point in my life because of losing my leg. The people I've met and just the friendships I've made, I don't think I'd change it."

He's been inspired and motivated by those other amputee golfers, and now he's doing the same. An Adaptive Golf Specialist, Ramin teaches others with special needs how to golf, that includes other amputees, stroke victims and those with illness and injuries as well. He teaches golf in those lessons, but at the same time his life experience teaches his students that golf can be an outlet and an opportunity to compete.

"You can hit a bad shot on the golf course but you know, you may get a bad shot in life," Ramin, who preaches positivity, says. "You can sit in the corner and cry about it and let it affect the rest of your life or the rest of your game, but if you just get back up and take your next shot and keep moving forward, things will get better."

While at one point his future was just two percent clear, he has several goals in mind today. He'll compete in the Michigan Amputee Golf Association Tournament in two weeks, followed by an international amputee golf event in Canada after that.

He's also working to get golf in the Paralympic Games, and yes, if he can make that happen, he hopes to compete in those as well.

For now, he'll use those tournaments to stay motivated, while giving motivation to others with special needs too.

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