When Sean Carter stood before students at Sherman High School Wednesday, he said his story started at S&S High School, the school he graduated from before going to college. He also talked about how he had accepted a lucrative modeling offer in New York and lived there for four months hoping to make enough money to pay his way through law school.

Carter told the students about how he had returned to Texas and was the victim in an automobile accident with a drunken driver that left him unable to talk or stand on his own.

Several of his bones were shattered. He suffered a severe brain injury that left him in a coma. He lost the ability to use his legs, hands and voice.

Carter said although he is considered a public speaker, he cannot speak on his own without aid of a tablet that he uses to produce a synthesized voice. The accident he was in left him with a serious traumatic brain injury that hampered much of his cognitive functions, leaving him with no memory of the night of his accident.

“I can't talk obviously,” Carter said. “Nobody would choose to use this robotic voice synthesizer. I often want to say everything with the emotion I feel. But this text-to-speech is so matter of fact. I want to ask all of you to use your imaginations. Imagine me walking back and forth across the stage, moving my arms to gesture to make my point.”

Carter and his mother go around the country and speak to high school students sharing his story as a way to put a face to the dangers of drinking and driving. A lesson Carter said he learned all to well that fateful day.

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“The events of that night could have been taken straight out of a screenplay,” Carter said. “What happened to me was unthinkable, but the unthinkable did happen. Society glamorizes alcohol so much. What is never shown is the people like me or people who are worse off. I suffered a traumatic brain injury when I was 22 years old. I am now 36. Time flies when you are having fun. There are times — believe me — I thought it would never end. But, here I am.”

Carter's mother showed pictures of him in the hospital with all the metal pins, rods and other cuts his body just days after the accident. She also showed pictures of her changing her adult son's diaper to illustrate the total loss of his independence.

Carter warned of the dangers of drinking before reaching the legal age. He started drinking in high school, and it quickly becoming a part of his routine. His overall message to the students centered on avoiding the pitfalls of alcohol entirely. It was his designated driver that caused the accident due to the driver's excessive drinking.

Carter said he has since learned to heed the words of his mother. He told the kids to listen to their mothers or any adult telling them the dangers of drinking too much. The driver of the vehicle, once a friend of Carter's, has had his life thrown upside down as he too suffered the consequences of that one decision.

Carter said while he was lying in bed during his early recovery, he went through a period of despair that had him contemplating ways to end his own life. No matter what scenario he envisioned, he was constantly reminded of the reality he faced. Without the use of his own muscles, he was unable to put any of those plans into motion. He felt like a prisoner in his own body and told the students he used to dream of getting married, going to law school and being a professional model.

Now, he dreams of the day he will be able to get out of bed on his own.

Carter and his mother now travel the state on a grant provided by the Texas Department of Transportation and Texas A&M University.

FCCLA student Marco Lopez said the message was important for him and his peers to hear.

“It is very important for us to put the message in our minds what would we do if we were in his position,” Lopez said. “I am really going to start thinking about my choices — how I respond to things like peer pressure. I think everybody got something from it. I believe everyone got an image in their head about what they should do if they were in his position.”

Lopez said the support Carter gets from his mother was the part that stood out the most in his mind.