In August 2013, Ty Wilson was injured in a car accident. Subsequently, he developed an infection that led to the amputation of his left leg three inches above his knee.
Now, the graduating senior from the Department of Radio-Television-Film, the native of Houston and former high-school valedictorian is screening a 20-minute documentary titled “Handicapable” about the experiences of other individuals with amputations. The film is part of the department’s end of semester screenings of student films and will play with other documentary shorts on May 12 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in CMB Studio 4C on campus.
The film touches on Wilson’s story, but mostly centers around two students and one alumna from UT Austin who have overcome adversity. Among his subjects are a Paralympian athlete and gold medalist, a meningitis survivor who had her legs and fingers amputated, and a computer science freshman born without his left arm who plans to try out for the Longhorn baseball team this summer.
“Throughout different trials in life we can still overcome most anything and become local heroes in our hometown or win a gold medal at the Olympics,” said Wilson. “It’s about turning a hard situation into something that can inspire others.”
Wilson said a large component of moving past the trauma and a year-and-a-half of physical therapy in Houston was returning to UT Austin and having the goal to graduate.
“There was also my spirit. God. Everyone who was there to help me move on with the next phase of my life,” said Wilson.
Now at 23, Wilson plans to submit the documentary to film festivals and move to California after the summer to pursue work in videography.
“There was a moment when I thought, ‘how could I live this life without a leg?’” said Wilson. “For 20 years it was a part of me so I had a period where I felt like I couldn’t live this way but I’ve moved on and wanted to share this story through others and connect with them.”
For more on the Department of Radio-Television-Film end-of-semester screenings running through May 15, please visit the Moody College events calendar.