Lonnie’s story

By David Wylie

By David Wylie

Lonnie Williams knew he’d face a learning curve when he landed a job as a truck driver in Texas’ oil and gas industry. Still, he never imagined he would nearly die on his first day at work.

Lonnie and a co-worker were hauling salt water, a key ingredient in the hydraulic fracturing process, when they rolled their truck on a curve. Lonnie’s co-worker was ejected, but Lonnie was trapped inside.

“I thought I was going to die,” said Lonnie. “I kept thinking, ‘I’ll never see my son again.”’

Lonnie suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left him unable to move his hands and legs. Doctors told his mother he’d never walk again.

What the doctors didn’t anticipate was a healthy dose of optimism that would carry Lonnie through a grueling recovery process. With support from his family, his employer and Texas Mutual, Lonnie relearned everyday tasks like eating and tying his shoes.

And ultimately, Lonnie would walk again.

Today, Lonnie’s back in the workforce sharing his zeal for life with young people as a high school teacher. His story is a case study in the benefits of a return-to-work program.

Employers who invest in return-to-work can minimize lost productivity and other costs associated with workplace accidents. Meanwhile, injured workers who get back to productive employment maintain their financial health. They also avoid the stress, depression and other symptoms of being isolated from peers.

Texas Mutual encourages you to watch this short video about Lonnie’s story. When you’re ready to reap the benefits of return-to-work, visit our Work Safe, Texas website.

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