is David Kritser? David is a past
Chairman of both the Second Chance and
BSA Foundation Boards, community
volunteer, husband and father of two.
If you've ever been a patient at BSA
Health System, chances are you passed
David in the hallway. When he's
not promoting the Second Chance
Foundation and running between rehab
appointments and various committee
meetings, he's encouraging rehab
David has always been a
very optimistic, easy going person
believing he could do anything.
This attitude, however, proved to be a
double edged sword. It was this
invincible attitude that was behind the
accident. At the age of 22, David
was water skiing and partying with
friends while enjoying time off from
active duty at Ft. Hood. After
releasing the rope, the rutter of the
ski was caught on a sand bar, trapping
his feet in the foot straps causing him
to hit his head, flip and land on his
back. A friend and pre-med student
attempted to stabilize his neck as much
as possible while being transported to a
waiting ambulance. David's
injuries resulted in a broken neck
causing him to be paralyzed from the
shoulders down. Knowing he would
be in a wheel chair for the rest of his
life, David wasn't apprehensive about
what the future held for him. In
fact, his easy going lifestyle continued
pretty much the same as before his
David's optimism and positive outlook on
life is what helped him per when
diagnosed with testicular cancer
eighteen months later. He was
given less than a 5% chance of
surviving. After four operations
and trying chemotherapy with no results,
he decided to try an experimental drug.
The doctor's prognosis was, if the
cancer didn't kill him, the drug would.
David's life threatening disease was
more discouraging than when his neck was
broken. At this stage, the burden
was heavy and he contemplated suicide.
March, 1972, David made the decision
that changed the rest of his life.
He requested to have surgery to remove
the tumor that had settled in his lungs.
To date, the cancer has not returned.
Having survived the cancer, David knew
he had survived for a reason and that
God had a purpose for his life.
Slowly, thirteen years later, without
warning, David settled into a deep, deep
depression. There was no apparent
reason for him to be depressed.
Life was good, but he had become
discontented. He felt he was
drifting along in life with no meaning.
He was hungry for something more.
He never ventured outside the house.
Food was his constant companion
resulting in weight gain up to 300
pounds and self-pity had become his best
friend. One morning he woke up and
said enough! He wanted more from
life. David believed the emptiness
he experienced was used by the Holy
Spirit to draw him closer to God and to
reveal the real meaning in life.
With the prayers and support of Tom
Thatcher, a close friend, and others,
David realized his calling to help
This sense of purpose is what drives
David. "The fear of falling back
into my old lifestyle keeps me
motivated. I can't wait to get up
in the morning to face whatever new
challenged lie ahead," David commented.
"It is a continuous process to keep a
positive outlook and to stay motivated."
Secret weapons in his arsenal include
his faith in God, his wife, Sally, and a
caring mother, Mrs. J. Lee Johnson, III.
"Sally is my soul mate and has been with
me through the good and the bad.
She's a wonderful mother and wife.
I don't think I would have made it this
far without her support," stated David
affectionately. David met Sally
while going through rehab after his
Having firsthand knowledge of the
emotional, mental, spiritual and
financial challenges one experiences
when they become mobility impaired,
David wanted to make a difference in the
lives of the less fortunate. He
knew he would visit with new patients in
Bivins Rehab, be a friend and a source
of encouragement to those who needed it,
but he wanted to do more.
David was invited by Dr. Ed Thomas to
get involved with the Second Chance
Foundation. The Foundation began
as a dream of Dr. Thomas and with the
help of Betty Bivins, David Kritser, and
many others, it became a reality.
Providing assistance, based on financial
need, to mobility impaired individuals
who have exhausted other means of
support is the Foundation's purpose.
Specifically, the Foundation will assist
clients with prosthetic equipment,
extended outpatient therapy, continuing
education, and transportation. The
Foundation is funded by donations from
Attitude is everything! "You
cannot control anything else in life,
but you can control your attitude,"
stated David. "I have enough power
that I can control what kind of attitude
I will have for that day. A
positive attitude goes a long way, even
if you force it sometimes. I am no
good to anyone if I don't have a good
attitude." David is an example of
what we can do if we aren't limited by
our attitude! What is your
attitude in life?