AUSTIN (KXAN) - It's been just over a month since Zachary Underwood was rescued from the Barton Creek Greenbelt. With 13 broken ribs, a lacerated liver, a removed spleen, three surgeries and a medically-induced, 12-day coma, today, Zach is facing life like it's his second chance at it.
"I notice everyday I get better and better and the wounds seem to be going from the inside out and it's just I don't know, "said Underwood. "I notice progression everyday and when you know progression, it gives you hope."
Hope and determination is what Zach believes brought him home and out of the hospital in a month.
"I'm not a lazy person," said Underwood. "I believe in defying the odds, pretty much and I don't believe in, it's going to take you four months, well I'm going to do it in a month or two."
On the morning of May 24, Zach was Geocaching , hiking and looking for treasures. He was on a cliff, holding onto a rock, while rounding a corner. That rock pulled away. Zack fell and the boulder fell on top of him.
"It's kinda frightening, you know, when there's nobody there. You're in the middle of nowhere and you're saying help and there's nobody there to answer your call, it's kinda freaky," said Underwood.
Zach had a Smartphone with him. He called 911 and gave the operator his exact GPS coordinates.
"After it had fallen, the boulder had fallen on my chest and bounced off my chest. I had probably walked about 20 yards to the trail and then I collapsed because I wanted someone to find me," said Underwood.
Two nurses walking the trail found him and stayed with him until EMS arrived.
"I remember saying help and I remember looking up and there were two people who were just my angels," said Underwood.
The accident hasn't stopped Zach. He's not in bed on his back. He's upright, walking his dog and enjoying life more fully with his soon-to-be-wife, Tamara. He also planning to return to the trails as soon as he can.
"I have more of an open eye about things and I feel like I got a second chace to do this all over again, you know what I mean and not very many people get that chance," said Underwood.
Others are getting the chance to help Zach pay thousands of dollars in medical expenses. His friends and even strangers have donated online to help him reach a goal of $7,000 . They are 75 percent of the way raising $5,280.
"It's too overwhelming for me to know that there's people out there that are caring," said Underwood.
Bringing Zach's story to full circle is the discovery of his scooter he once thought was stolen. His fiance filed a police report. They searched for it on the trail and couldn't find it.
"I knew in my heart it wasn't stolen," said Tamara Frederick, Underwood's fiance.
With one more look, Zach's scooter was right where he left it on the trail the day of the accident. His backpack and helmet were still attached.
Now, Zach is just thankful. Thankful to the 911 operator who sent help. Thankful to his two angels, the nurses who found him on the trail. Thankful to his fiance, family, friends, and strangers and mostly important of them all; thankful to God to be alive.
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