Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and forgetting everything that has happened to you in your life. Almost like a Jason Bourne effect. And now you have to start back at square one with finding yourself, your identity that you used to have.
Traden Karch, the subject of a recent Golf Channel documentary (Unforgettable) found himself in that situation after his skull was bashed during a devastating car crash. While at the hospital the nurse caring for the 14-year-old predicted that he did not have much time to live after looking at the variety of damage to his head. It took six hours in surgery to fix the damages from the wreck.
Unforgettable: The Traden Karch Story
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) August 9, 2017
Fortunately for Traden, he didn’t lose his life… however, he did lose his memory and the ability to speak. He found himself back at square one. Prior to the accident, Traden was on his way to becoming a legitimate prospect in the golfing world playing for both the Tulsa PGA Junior All Star Team and for his Junior High team in Broken Arrow.
His father, in an effort to help cheer his boy up, brought him his putter from home. Thinking that it might bring his son some joy even if he didn’t remember the piece of equipment.
Then some miraculous happened: Traden’s golf swing was still intact, it was the one thing that stayed with him, and is the thing that gave him courage and the hope to get through this adversity he was facing.
“He used his old grip and just started putting,” his father explained in the documentary.
This viral story reached the boy’s idol Rory McIlroy, who agreed to narrate the documentary about his new friend.
“I don’t know about you but I take my memories for granted. I’ve got a friend who has it a little different. Without his memories, Traden had so much less to cling to, so much less to strive for in recovery.”
McIlroy invited Traden to join him at last year’s PGA Championship, a gesture that made the 14-year-old “feel important”.
“The game is the best way to remind himself who he really is,” McIlroy said about Traden’s path to recovery.
Traden has fully recovered from his injury and is working on his game once again, chasing the man who narrated the film about him. Maybe someday, Traden will have the opportunity to give back just like his hero on the course did for him.