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On Wednesday, September 29, 2016, Ariel, 19, was at a concert in Deep Ellum in Dallas, Texas. When he left the venue, he was struck by a DART train and was dragged 200 yards. The train severed both of his legs, and additionaly he suffered many other injuries to his body, hands and head. By the grace of a miracle he survived, despite the trauma and loss of blood. The doctors had to resuscitate him twice and he was not expected to make a full mental recovery. They said he might not wake for at least three days. Literally 30 minutes later he woke up and was calmly and coherently writing out questions about his condition. He understood immediately he had lost his both legs, but he was thankful to be alive.

The most notable feature of Ariel’s personality is his positive attitude and his strength of character, which is an inspiration to everyone. The day after his injury he was already reassuring everyone that everything was going to be ok and that he could already feel his legs healing, despite the surging pain.

A natural athlete, Ariel was a talented wide receiver in football, a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court and an avid skateboarder and snowboarder. He remains a die hard fan of the Dallas Mavericks and the Philidelphia Eagles and took every opportunity to go to every game body-painted up in his team's colors. In response to his inability to enjoy these sports in the same way, he said, it’s ok, “with prosthetics I can still be in the Olympics!”

In a paper Ariel wrote for school, only 3 months before this accident, he praised hospitals and the people who worked there - this one paragraph summarizes his amazing outlook on life:

There are many things that you are able to do on a daily basis and not even realize that these things are a privilege to have. Moving your arms or just being able to breathe and eat normally on a daily basis is a privilege. It’s a privilege that you can breathe this fresh air we all share; it’s a privilege that all your muscles and bones are working together to allow you to lift something. There can be times where we may come upon a certain situation in which we may need medical attention. Sometimes these situations can turn into emergencies and when it gets to that point there is a place that will welcome you with open arms… Life can be hard sometimes and I am extremely thankful for every hospital on this planet we call earth.

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  • Arielly;

    I just learned today. Your “Aunt Shoowee” has been in shock. Still am.
    I don’t know what happened, but why you?
    U r in my prayers, as is all family.
    U are “the best”, and will rise above this because I know you.

    Be encouraged, HaShem is with you.
    Much love, Julie Daniel.

  • Ariel,

    I went to high school with Romeo, and he just shared your story on Facebook. When I was 17, my leg was crushed by a car and I went through a lot of surgeries afterwards. Not the same, but your story struck a chord with me. I can tell you that while it will be difficult now, you will persevere through this, and come out stronger.

    I sincerely hope you will commit to your goal of becoming an Olympian and I want you to focus on that dream every day!

    I hope you blog about your progress and that I read about you competing as the athlete you already are and will continue to be.

    Prayers to you for continued strength and courage.


    Danielle B.

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