UTC student graduates 20 years after horrible car crash caused brain damage
A 35-year-old who just graduated from UTC says "don't take no for an answer."
When Chris Land was 16, he was in a horrible car accident that caused severe brain damage.
Saturday, he walked across the stage at McKenzie Arena to receive his mechanical engineering degree.
Land always wanted to be a mechanic, working under the hoods of cars, but his injuries prevented that. This led him to pursue a mechanical engineering degree.
"After my car accident, I realized I couldn't balance on my feet and work on vehicles,” Land told us.
At 16 years old, Chris Land's life changed forever.
At first, doctors thought he may never walk again.
Land told us what doctors told his father, "A vegetative state was the best that I could do. Dad said somebody with a whole lot more power than you watching over him."
Land feels that power. He knows he wouldn't be able to accomplish what he has without God's help.
"He says in his word we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us,” Land said.
That strength has given him the perseverance to push through 12 years of school and earn a mechanical engineering degree.
"I wasn't going to give up on me,” Land stated.
Nobody else did either. He had tremendous support from his teachers and family, and the entire UTC community at graduation.
"It's like the Saturn 5 was taking off in McKenzie Arena. Everybody started making all kinds of noise,” Land smiled when he told us.
He received a standing ovation for his accomplishments. Land says UTC will always hold a special place in his heart.
"Made me an engineer. It's pretty life-changing."
Land plans to use that degree to work in something in the automotive or aeronautic industry. He laughed when telling us that saying he'll make more money than a mechanic anyways.