Jim Mueller never leaves the house without his cowboy boots.
"I'm sorta known as 'the guy with the boots.'"
He's the guy with the boots and the fighting spirit.
"This boot right here, saved my left foot. If I hadn't had it on, my foot would've been severed."
And, if quite a few things hadn't happened, Jim says, he wouldn't be here today. It started with the accident in Fisher on his motorcycle on July 31.
"As I'm riding down the road, a deer ran out and head-butted the bike. The deer came out of this field, hit the bike and I ended up hitting the pavement right about here. The next day, they had to cut my head open to stop the bleeding on the brain and took out a blood clot the size of an apricot. With my head wound, 90% of the people do not survive. The remaining 10%, nine out of ten spend the rest of their life in the nursing home."
Making Jim's chance of survival... "One percent. One percent."
The numbers were not in his favor, but fate was.
"I look at the accident as a blessing in disguise because I didn't know I was sick."
Four months after his accident, Jim was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer.
"Reason I'm here now, the tumor isn't cooperating quite as well. The interesting thing about it, what I'm told, is there are no symptoms until it's too late. That accident happened for a reason. Because, if the accident didn't happen, my body hadn't been in a weakened state, we might've never known until it was too late."
Now, with his wife Karen and sister Kathy by his side, Jim is going through treatments.
"He's a fighter from the get-go, and I think that's worked to his advantage."
No matter where he is, his boots are always nearby too.
"I gotta have my boots!"
He's the guy with the boots, even in a hospital bed, and a fighting spirit.
"I've got a great life and I'm not going to give it up."
The way Jim sees it, the boots saved his foot in the accident, the doctors saved his life once before, and now, even the accident has given him another fighting chance at survival.
When Jim was diagnosed with the cancer, doctors told him he had two-to-four months to live. Right now, he's made it past the four-month mark. Jim says he's going to enjoy every minute of his life with his family, in his cowboy boots, of course.
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