Wade Berzas, the sole survivor of the horrific plane crash that occurred 48 seconds after leaving Lafayette Airport on December 28, 2019, en route to the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, joins Discover Lafayette to discuss how the incident changed her life forever. He is now living his life “48 seconds at a time”.
Wade, still a young man of 39, is happily married and has six children from previous marriages with his wife and two children from their union. He recounts how the day of the accident was just another normal day. “My mom came the next day and we had marinated breast… I had spent the day setting my goals for the coming year. I was going on a flight with my best friends to do something we had always talked about, an opportunity to see LSU play a game on the road. Friends were waiting for us there. Everyone was giving me a hard time because I forgot the playing cards.
“The whole flight lasted 48 seconds. Life has turned on the top of his head. I was completely alone, strapped to my seat, burnt all over my body, trying to figure out how I was going to get out. You quickly separate what is important from what is not. I called my wife in the field so that I could contact her first so she wouldn’t learn from social media what had happened. I wanted her to hear my voice so I could say, ‘Don’t worry. It will be fine. “
Many people put “their human minds” to work trying to figure out how Wade survived. Wade thinks it’s impossible to understand on a human level. “God just had a different plan for me that day. For those who believe, God did six miracles: I am still here and he kept me here in order to do more work. Five people were able to see their creator that day.
Wade was always the one who read the safety instructions when working offshore. He remembers getting out of his seatbelt which held him in place as he hung upside down. He was able to climb out of the wreckage and two heroic passers-by helped him as he walked away and then collapsed on the ground. Over 75% of his body was burned. He didn’t want his wife to find out about the accident on social media, so he called her before getting into the ambulance so that she could hear his voice and he could say, “Don’t worry. not, that will be fine. . “
The odds were against Wade, but he described the peace that gripped him when he realized he would be fine. Even with the greatest luck that he didn’t just survive, he never wanted people to abandon him. Wade was to stay in the hospital for at least three months. He was placed in a medical coma to help his body rest as he battled invading germs and fluid loss, all due to the loss of his skin, the body’s largest organ.
Joey Barrios, MD, burn surgeon at Our Lady of Lourdes, was Wade’s physician; To date, Wade has had 26 surgeries, initially twice a week, all of which are 100% successful. Generally, skin graft surgeries have a high probability of needing to be redone. He left the hospital after 52 days, much earlier than expected. With hundreds of thousands of people praying for Wade’s successful recovery, it is now easy to understand the power of prayer.
Wade realized he had to hand the outcome of his accident to God. “You don’t have to go through a plane crash to find yourself in situations where you feel like you can’t get out of it. When you embrace suffering, with grace and a commitment to go to the other side, you can accomplish things that you never imagined possible. He made that commitment one minute at a time, one day at a time.
A positive mindset was essential to Wade’s recovery, as is it for all of us who are going through difficult times. He stayed positive as much as possible, allowed no negativity in his hospital room, and offered his result to God. He never wanted to be called a victim; he was and is a survivor. He believes that we are limiting God in our human minds. “God does not give you more than you can bear if you allow Him to work through you. God can do amazing things with you and through you. Surrender to God, let Him do the work.
“Eight years ago, I was not mentally, physically or spiritually able to surrender to God. At that point, I wanted to be Superman. I went through difficult and serious times with my family. I even had a dream board with Superman on it. It was so ironic when the nurses walked into my hospital room as I was laying a vegetable there, wrapped in bandages from head to toe, with no electricity, where I couldn’t do anything on my own, and they said, “This is Superman.” “
The crash at the place happened before the COVID shutdown, for which Wade feels grateful. His family could be with him to keep him centered and focused.
The accident changed every aspect of Wade’s life, from the way he exercises and how he sleeps, to his attitude towards life. Her father always taught her that “cannot” is not in the dictionary. He was taught to be a warrior with an attitude.
“I always said, I’m going. I don’t wait any longer. Now I am living my life 48 seconds at a time. This life is very short. While I’m here I’m going to live my life to the best of my ability. I don’t fly anymore; I don’t feel the need to travel very far because my priorities have refocused. Spending time with my family comes before business and money. I am not at all afraid of death. Getting out of this life and dying is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Death is not what keeps me from wato fly, it is the crash.
Wade returned to his employer, Global Data Systems (GD), after his recovery. A year after the accident (December 2020), Wade was listening to a podcast featuring the late Tony Robichaux that explained how he almost gave up coaching to become a sales manager. When Wade was growing up all he wanted to do was be a coach and there he was leading a sales team. Robichaux pointed out how God gives you gifts and it is your job to use those gifts. This message left a deep mark on Wade and he felt that God was whispering to him to make a change.
He decided to follow the inner voice and become true to his main goal of helping people become the best in themselves. He completed important projects at GDS, striving to leave things better than before the accident. He attributes the resources of GDS after losing 3/5 of its management team in the crash to the coaching of EOS Worldwide, which had succeeded in reversing the culture and profitability of the company.
Wade Berzas is now a professional trainer and business coach at EOS Worldwide, as well as a speaker, coach and entrepreneur passionate about helping people and leadership teams. “EOS” stands for Entrepreneur Operating System “and focuses on Vision (everyone on the same page), Traction (concentration and discipline), and Healthy (Direction.)
Wade Berzas started a youth sports organization, Acadiana Bucks Youth Sports, in Church Point LA, which has now grown to include baseball and football, serving more than 400 children. Its mission is to provide young people with a positive male influence and to bring God into their lives through sport. It was inspired by the late UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux. and is reading “The Real Game,” which tells the story of Coach Robe, who went from being a baseball coach to teaching men God through baseball.
In his conclusion, he pointed out how blessed he was because he was given a second chance. He had the opportunity to forgive some people he had not forgiven and to ask forgiveness that he might never have had the chance to ask. He could tell people he loved them that he hadn’t said it the day before. “We have to live our lives every day knowing that this might be the last chance you have to make things right, to bless others. “
We thank Wade Berzas for sharing what must be one of the most private, yet public events one can experience in life. We thank God for having survived to share his message of faith and love.
To contact Wade regarding its services through EOS Worldwide, please visit https://www.eosworldwide.com/wade-berzas