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Faulty Test Jump Leaves Stuntman in Need of a Miracle

Dan Meers is the mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs. He remembers a rehearsal gone terribly wrong, and his thankfulness for what happened after. Read Transcript


- My job description,if you go to my office

up in Arrowhead Stadium,it says AC Wolf Director

of Shenanigans.

That's what is on myname plate at my office.

- [Reporter] Den Meershas been entertaining

Kansas City Chiefs fansfor almost 30 years as

the team mascot the KC Wolf.

He first donned a mascotoutfit while in college

at the University ofMissouri as their mascot

Shruman the Tiger.

- For four years, I gotto do college football,

and basketball, and other sporting events.

And community events, I justhad a lot of fun doing it.

Never dreaming that itwas eventually gonna turn

into my career.

- [Reporter] Dan is thelongest performing mascot

in professional sportsand the first inducted

into the mascot hall of fame.

With every Chiefs home game,he has opportunities to try

new skits and stunts.

- We're always looking for ways to take

it to the net level.

We're always trying to think,what will the fans enjoy?

And I had seen anothermascot who had zip lined into

this stadium, and Ithought that'd be awesome.

I thought we'll trythat out and so I jumped

down basically zipped across the stadium,

and then they lowered me to the field,

the crowd just loved it.

So later that season, wethought you know what,

we'll do it again, butwe don't want to do the

exact same thing, wewant to kind of mix it up

so its new and fresh.

And so they're like, we cando a bungee jump with it.

- [Reporter] The daybefore debuting the stunt,

he did a test jump without the costume

that went horribly wrong.

- When I jumped out of thelights, because of the slack

that was still in thezip line that day instead

of falling 20 feet, I fellapproximately 70 to 75 feet.

And I hit the seats in the upperlevel at Arrowhead Stadium.

- [Reporter] His fall broke two seats

out of the stadium's concrete.

But it was Dan's body thattook most of the impact.

- I wasn't sure what all had happened.

I knew I'd never felt painlike that before in my life.

- [Reporter] Dan brokehis back and seven ribs

along with his tailbone and sacrum.

He also had a collapsed lungand struggled to breathe.

As he was lowered to thefield, a friend rushed

to his side and prayed for him.

- It was a good reminderthat God's in control.

He had someone there inplace that was gonna come

pray for me and just kind of my reminder

that hey, I'm here,and it's gonna be okay.

- [Reporter] The following day,

Dan had two titaniumrods surgically implanted

in his back to secure his spine.

He awoke from surgery thankful to be alive

but wondering why God allowedthis accident to happen.

- There were times where Iwould just be sitting there

in so much pain, I'd belike God, I really don't

like this plan.

And I told him that.

And but he reminded me yeah, trust me.

I'll get you through this.

- [Reporter] After ninedays in the hospital,

Dan went home, where thenext six months he endured

grueling rehab and physical therapy.

For a time, Dan struggled emotionally,

until he heard a messageon Christian radio

about thankfulness.

- It says every morningyou wake up, everybody's

got something to complainabout, everybody's

got something to be thankful for.

He said whichever oneyou choose to focus on

is gonna determine yourattitude for the day.

And I still remember sitting in my car,

tears running down my face,that's shocking I know.

And but I realized that Godjust taught me a valuable lesson

I learned that yeah, I cancomplain about my seven

broken ribs or I can choose to be thankful

I had 17 good ones that weren't broken.

I realized I could complainabout my collapsed left lung

that still wasn't completely healed.

Or I can be thankful I hadtwo lungs and the other

one was working just fine.

There's all kinds ofthings I can complain about

but that day I stoppedand I remember, I told God

thank you for my pain.

And that's really hardto do, I think I'm pretty

good about thanking him for my blessings,

but saying thank you for pain is hard.

But I did, I thanked himbecause I realized if I couldn't

feel pain, I'd be deador I'd be paralyzed.

Then I thought about that,death, paralysis, or pain.

I got the best one outta the three.

I tell people, I still wakeup with pain every morning.

God reminds me I get to make a choice,

if I get outta bed I canchoose to rise and shine,

or I can choose to rise and whine.

And I don't want to be a whiner.

You see, whiners do notmake a positive impact

for Jesus Christ in this world.

As believers we're calledto get out and make

a difference in our world andto shine the love of Christ

wherever we go.

- [Reporter] Amazingly,by the start of the next

football season, Dan washealthy enough to be back

in the wolf suit once again.

- You know I knew I was backto doing what I loved doing

and putting on a costumeand entertaining fans

at Arrowhead Stadium.

I was just so excited to be back and

I came home that night just on cloud nine.

I was worn out, but Iwas excited knowing that

yeah, my body was strongenough to continue

to do what I loved doing.

- [Reporter] Dan wrotea book about his career,

recovery, and God'sfaithfulness through it all

entitled Wolves Can't Fly.

He continues to inspirepeople as the KC Wolf.

And also with histestimony of thankfulness

in the midst of pain.

- I've had people sayyou're lucky to be alive.

I don't believe I'm lucky to be alive,

I do believe I'm blessed.

One thing he has shownme is just how incredibly

good he is, how incredibly thankful he is.

And on the good days,even on the rough days

that he's still on the throne.

God's principles, God'spromises, have never changed.

They're always reliableno matter how severe

or how painful the situation is.

I know God loves me, andI read that every morning

in his word, he loves me.

I also know that he's gota good plan for my life.

And I'm just grateful thatI get to walk with him

each and every step in this journey.

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