'Bump on the head': How a Special Olympics Coloradan started his own business despite the challenges

DENVER - When you think about a "bump on the head," it's usually a minor bump or bruise, right?

But a local Special Olympics Colorado athlete is hoping you'll think of his company the next time you hear 'bump on the head.'

Austin Shepard was hit in the head while playing baseball 13 years ago. He had to relearn how to walk and talk.

His motto? “Once a talented athlete, always a talented athlete,” said Shepard. “I'm still an athlete, but just a little bit slower.”

This bowler's life changed 13 years ago, when he was playing baseball -- a ball hit him right in the temple.

"From this… I had bleeding on the brain and it started filling up [with blood], and I went into a coma for two-and-a-half months… and when I awoke, I couldn't walk or talk."

Which is why the name of the company he started a year ago is called "Bump on the Head LLC."

"We talk to athletes on a platform to help individuals with special needs or have a traumatic brain injury or a traumatic injury in their lives,” said Shepard.

Austin now travels the world as a motivational speaker.

"He does motivational speaking and he talks to a lot to different crowds and different age groups and just helps them, and tells them his story, and gives people hope,” said Shepard’s father, Dallas Shepard.

“I can't tell you how many speeches he's done. I've seen him speak several times and he's riveting… people listen to his message,” said Daniel Fulfur, Shepard’s coach who has known him for years.

“Austin is bigger than life. He's an amazing young man, everything he's gone through, the things that he's showed us… he’s showed us never to give up,” said Fulfure. “It's a pleasure to be around him.”

As it turns out, our own Denver7 reporter, Hanna, has more in common with Shepard, than both of them being talented athletes.

“I think his favorite highlight is the interviewing, and he loves to be in front of the camera,” said Shepard Sr.

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Look for more inspirational stories from our newest Denver7 reporters, Connor and Hanna throughout the week here on Denver7.

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