Alex Watters is a Career Development Specialist at Morningside. Watters love for the Mustang runs deep as he is a Morningside Alumni. His drive to impact not only the student of Morningside, but also the community of Sioux City is what makes him so well known.
Watters moved to Okaboji, IA when he was in high school and eventually began to love the area and meet some great friends. He was living the life. Watters said, “I was very self-centered. I cared about making money, talking to girls, and golf.” Watters had plans to become a golf pro at a golf course and teach people how to golf. All of that was soon to change.
Watters is wheel chair bound and is very open about his accident. Two weeks into his freshman year, he met a girl. Watters said, “Isn’t that how all the bad stories start?”. The girl he met was a friend from school who invited him and a few friends over to her lake house for a family reunion.
Watters and friends met the family, played football with the younger brother, and ate s’mores. It was cracking up to be a great night. Watters and the friends younger brother decided they wanted to go swimming at midnight. Watters and the brother walked 150 ft. out on to the dock where a gust of wind knocked Watters hat off of his head into the water. Watters took his sandals off and drove in head first not knowing the water was only 18 inches deep. Watters says, “In that moment I though, it’s been a really good life. I have been lucky, if this is my time, then it is my time.”.
Watters remembers laying in the water not being able to move. He thought he was just in shock but didn’t realize that his neck had snapped. As Watters laid floating above water in and out of consciousness, the little brother ran back to get his sister. His sister and friends ran out and helped him out of the water. The paramedics showed up and rushed him to the hospital.
Watters later found out that he broke his C5 and C6 vertebra. He was sick for months after because while he was unconscious, he inhaled water that got to his lungs giving him pneumonia. Once he was pneumonia free, he traveled to Denver Colorado for rehab at the top 10 best in the world facilities for brain and spinal injuries. He was there for six months.
The biggest take away Watters wants his audience to take away from his story is to never take life for granted. The best piece of advice that was given from Watters is that we determine our destiny. It doesn’t matter what we have been through in life, we all have the same amount of time in a day to make things happen for ourselves. We have to stay hungry and the sky is the limit.