CLEARWATER — Andrew Hall, whose left leg was severed when he was hit by a drunken driver in April, will appear with Clearwater's famous dolphin without a tail, Winter, on The Doctors.
Hall, 20, said he wants to use the syndicated talk show to advocate for harsher drunken driving penalties. He also wants to share a message of hope.
"Mainly I did this show for every mother and father and brother and sister who has ever lost somebody to a drunk driver, not so much to numb their pain, but to show there's hope for those who make it," Hall said.
Hall was 19 when he was hit by a Honda Accord while standing outside his Safety Harbor apartment on April 20. Joshua West, now 25, pleaded guilty two weeks ago to driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
The crash ripped off Hall's left leg, crushed his pelvis, tore the tendons in his right knee and broke his left arm in six places.
Hall, who now lives in Clearwater, was hospitalized for seven months before he was released in November. He is receiving physical therapy with the hopes of getting a prosthetic leg.
The day before West's plea agreement was announced, Hall was at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Montel Williams, a contributor to The Doctors. The former talk show host and Hall met Winter, the dolphin who was fitted with a prosthesis after she lost her tail as a baby. "Me and Winter both have something missing, but we still live our lives, we still function," Hall said.
In a statement, Williams said he was impressed with Hall's perseverance.
"I set out to interview Andrew in Florida hoping to inspire a young man to not give up and reach for his hopes and dreams," Williams said. "Consequently, I came away from the experience being inspired by Andrew, and I believe his story will have the same impact on the viewers who see this show."
The day after West was sentenced, Hall flew to California to tape a segment with Travis Stork, one of the four physicians on The Doctors.
"It's rare that a young person is able to persevere through so much personal tragedy, but Andrew has done just that," Stork said. "He is truly a remarkable young man, and I feel blessed to have learned from him and to be able to bring his inspiring story to our viewers."
Hall has been featured in the St. Petersburg Times and other local media, but Monday will be his first national appearance.
Rita Farlow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4157.