“I was going to redefine what was possible, I was no longer going to be defined as the burn kid,” Shay Eskew explained.

The story begins on October 4, 1982 when Shay was just eight years old, and his friend Jeff, was 7. Shay’s mom had asked him to go across the street to warn their neighbor that they had an aggressive yellow jackets nest in the yard. The previous day, it had swarmed his entire bicycle. He walked across the street and knocked on the door. Their dad wasn’t home, but the fifteen-year-old daughter was. Shay proceeded to tell her about the aggressive yellow jackets nest. As they walked down the driveway to look at the hole in the ground, you could see the yellow jackets flying in and out of the nest. The young lady then asked if Shay and his friend could help get rid of them? To which Shay responded yes. As they were watching the yellow jackets 10 to 15 feet away, she grabbed a match and threw it down in the hole and nothing happened. She then instantaneously grabbed a cup of gasoline, and threw it at the hole. It splashed on the right side of Shay’s body and his friend, Jeff, on the left side. She struck the match. In an instance, they were engulfed in flames.

In Shay Eskew’s words: Originally, I was burned on 35% of my body, but I had a lot of infections set in. My ear became badly infected, so they had to amputate my right ear. They had to take skin grafts from my legs to use for my shoulder and back. When they harvested skin from my thighs, the dug to deep so it was like 3RD Degree burns. So, they had to take skin off the back of my legs to fix the front of my legs. It has been a series of setbacks and challenges, but they told me that I would never be able to play competitive sports again.

My right arm was severely melted to my side. It took me three years to lift my arm over my head. It took three years to hold my head up straight. During that time, I wore a custom orthotic brace for my face, neck and my side. A pressure fitted garment suit that went from my ankle to neck to my wrists. I wore all the braces and suit for three years.

I had to learn to write left handed to complete the 3rd and 4th grade. I played baseball once I got out of the hospital. The only way to throw to first base was to throw side-arm. My dad was the coach, so he put me at second base, so I had the shortest distance to throw to first base. I was always thinking, what would it take to be normal again. 

The story continues on the Brink of Greatness Podcast…

The Next Leap Forward

The story of Shay Eskew is one for the ages friends. As you listen to his journey, you’ll be both intrigued and inspired. You will find yourself standing and cheering him on as he takes all of us to task on what it takes to thrive no matter the circumstances! We are all faced with adversity on some level in our daily lives. It is part of being human and a societal condition of mankind. Society will not always be your friend, and at times will be your enemy. You must learn to rise above.

Most of us will face hardship both personally and professionally. What seems to shape a person is not so much the type of crisis but rather how it is handled.

How is it that some people seem to weather the storms better than others? How do some stay optimistic and productive after a setback? Whatever your reference point, know that it is within your power to not only neutralize the consequences, but craft the outcome to your advantage.

Here are my 7 tips on how to embrace adversity and make it an advantage in your life:

  1. Society will not always be your friend, and at times will be your enemy. Learn to rise above.
  2. Being at the wrong place at the wrong time can destroy everything you’ve worked for. Your discernment is vital.
  3. Stay centered no matter the distractions around you. Much of your daily intake will not aide you in accomplishing your goals.
  4. The advancement of communications in society today will both distract you and aide you. Know when to shut the noise out.
  5. When you’re called odd, different or weird; consider it a blessing. Allow your own children to be who they are.
  6. Medication should be the last resort, not the first. Those around you will take the easy way out. Resist.
  7. Society creates and accepts followers. Leaders will be scrutinized and judged. Leaders are few. Followers are many.

Take the next leap forward friends, I’m cheering you on!
Malcolm Out Loud

For Further Insight:
Website: http://www.shayeskew.com/
Buy the Book: https://shop.americaoutloud.com/content/what-fire-ignited-how-lifes-worst-helped-me-achieve-my-best

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