KATY, Texas - The Turkey Dash on Thursday will have two very special participants: One man who survived a traumatic brain injury and the doctor who helped him recover.
The man is Christian Walsh, who had to learn how to walk again after a horrific accident.
"I thank my lucky stars. I thank God every single day," Walsh said.
Five years ago he was on his bike on FM 529 near Peak Road, not far from the Grand Parkway doing his normal training when he was hit from behind by a car.
Paramedics rushed him by LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute.
"It was pretty rough for me," Walsh said.
He was in a coma for ten days, he had a feeding tube in for much longer and suffered severe brain damage.
"I had to learn to be taught to eat again," he said.
Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, assistant professor at McGovern Medical School and doctor at TIRR Memorial Hermann, said she helped Walsh through his rehab process at every step along the way.
"Five years ago at this time, he was just learning to walk again and now it's a big deal that he can come and be competitive in athletics," Verduzco-Gutierrez said.
She'll be running with him step for step in the Katy Turkey Dash at the YMCA Thanksgiving Day.
"You're seeing these people go through the worst things of their life and then you're helping them through the process and you're helping them see the good and you're helping them make their life better," said Verduzco-Gutierrez.
Walsh completed a mini-triathlon in October in Katy and can't wait for the race.
The doctor says she's going to push Walsh, just like she's done so many times before.
"I never give up," said Walsh. "That's what I tell my kids. I never give up. That's the way of life."
When Walsh got hurt in 2011 and was thrown from his bike, he was training for the Woodlands triathlon.