Friday, June 1, 2012

Slam Story: Austin Wandersheid

Austin Wanderscheid suffered from a traumatic skateboarding
accident on the morning of August 23rd 2010.  He was only 13 years old at the time.
His Dad owned an indoor skatepark  called Lab 33. Austin was just cruising 
down the street to go skate the park. He didn't have his helmet on.

Almost two years later, his Mom shares Austin's story with us. She hopes
that kids will will get into the habit of wearing a helmet. These photos of Austin were taken 
a few months before the slam that changed the course of his life.

My name is Sarah Carter.  I am Austin's mom.  Austin's father's name is Chad Wanderscheid.

My son's name is Austin Wanderscheid.  He is 15.
Austin started skateboarding about 6 years ago and was really good at it!
Austin was going about 15 mph and hit the left side of his head.
Austin showed a great interest in skateboarding and caught on quick.  His father, Chad, opened up a skateboard shop in Beaverton, OR that they called Lab 33 which was like a dream come true for Austin.  He and his friends would often go there after school and would spend a great deal of time there.  Austin's father wanted to create a "safe' place for kids that wanted to do something healthy and active.  The shop had an indoor skatepark that was amazing.  Lab 33 greatly promoted helmet safety and required that anyone skateboarding on the premises wear a helmet.  Needless to say, one morning in August (2010) Austin and two of his friends were on the way to Lab 33 which was only a few blocks from the house.  They were on an odinary road and had helmets with them, but were not wearing them at the time.  Austin hit a reflector in the road and it stopped the board and launched Austin more than 15 feet from the board.  He was ambulanced to OHSU and was in surgery within an hour.  
Austin was in a coma for a week after the sugery and we were told that he had a 20 % chance of survival.  While we were in icu I was educated by the neurologists about the statistics regarding skateboard related accidents at that time.  They told me that individuals that did not wear helmets were rated the #1 reason for brain/head trauma.  We spent alot of time at OHSU and I am happy to say that with awesome doctor's and lots of rehabilitation and hard work, Austin is doing very well and is an absolute miracle!  Unfortunately though, he will never be able to skateboard again amongst almost all sports ect..... and forever will need to remain extremely cautious about anything that could injure his head.  We have been told that he cannot sustain much force at all for his brain has already been so greatly injured.
Austin has been asked to put a booth together and tell his story to help educated children at a local elementary school in our area (which my 6 year old attends) about helmet safety.  With the help of MANY people in our community we have been able to put together enough helmets for each student attending this school.  This is vital because this school is one of the very few that has a unicycle program.  The kids ride many different sizes of unicycles and though helmets are encouraged they are not required?????  There are alot of people that are either uneducated or simply cannot afford a helmet for their child.  As a mother that has experienced first hand the magnitude of what can so simply be prevented, I want to take this opportunity with my son to do all that we can even if it saves only 1 life.

Message from S-One Helmet Co. :
Austin's story hits home for us because we knew his Dad. We supplied Lab 33 with S-One Helmets back in 2010. And Austin reminds me of your everyday kid that loves skateboarding. Not a pro, just a kid that loves to skate. And now he can't skate and his brain is still recovering. Austin will be promoting Helmet Awareness on June 5th at the Beacon Hill Elementary School in Longview, WA. If you want to help support the event or if you want to contact Austin email

And if you want to see what Austin's head looked like after the accident.. watch this video