Heads up: This article contains a graphic medical photo.
Some folks think that life is merely a hardship to be endured, a chore that we all must bear equally. “Just getting by” is good enough. Survival is sufficient. And the challenges that knock them down might just take them out. But that’s not who we are. At SARCRAFT, we believe in staying the course and prevailing against all odds. We believe in living in victory, and thriving instead of merely surviving. And we believe that challenges and hardships, no matter how difficult, are blessings. Because they show us just what we’re made of, and give us the opportunity to become that much stronger. One of the biggest and most unexpected blessings of getting to do what we do is having the privilege of meeting others who hold the same beliefs. One of those men who exemplifies these characteristics is our brother Chris Hardy.
We met Chris on a ride with Peach State Overland last August, and soon learned about his story… he’s dealt with serious health issues all his life, specifically chronic liver disease. This past February 13th marked the one-year anniversary of a liver transplant to save him from the disease that nearly killed him. But that’s not all. The transplant procedure alone has a 22% mortality rate and required a total of 67 staples and 9 blood transfusions, and side effects from it and the disease included losing 30% of his lung capacity and the majority of his muscle mass, and contracting debilitating pancreatitis (twice).
Just surviving this and making it out alive would be victory enough for most people. But Chris isn’t most people. He’s still committed to serving his community as a first responder, and is working hard to re-join the law enforcement field.
1. What do you do for a living? Police officer and EMT
2. What are your favorite things to do in the outdoors? Camping and fishing (I prefer surf fishing or open water, not lake. Partly because I can’t be in lake water for very long. Has to do with the suppressed immune system.)
3. How did you learn about SARCRAFT? Peach state overland ALS Benefit Ride. The knives and firecraft classes, specifically.
4. What was your favorite memory with us? Don’t really have a favorite memory. I just enjoy being outside and around like minded people a lot.
5. How has training with SARCRAFT helped you in the field? Haven’t had a chance to implement anything into the field yet, but it does seem to interest potential police employers.
6. What skills and topics do you look forward to learning with us in the future? Anything and everything related to skills that will help me obtain SARTECH search & rescue certifications in the future.
Chris is about as tough as they come. Where most folks would have given up and resigned themselves to their fate, he fought back. When others would have taken it easy post-surgery and used the (totally valid) excuse that they weren’t fit for physically demanding jobs, Chris came out of the gate swinging. He’s definitely SARCRAFT kind of people, and has thoroughly earned his nickname… Chris “Hard to Kill” Hardy.