At just 20-years-old, Ron Trozzi’s life changed forever when a bodysurfing accident left him paralyzed. Now, 47 years later, he has found a new passion that has given him a renewed sense of purpose: TikTok.

Trozzi was bodysurfing with a friend when he dove head first into a sandbar, crushing his cervical five and six vertebrae. “Not really paying attention, I just leaped and the water was shallow,” Trozzi said. “Instantly, I was totally paralyzed.”

Doctors gave him ten months to live. Despite the dire prognosis, Trozzi defied the odds. “I decided that I would prove them wrong,” he said.

Three years ago, Trozzi discovered TikTok, and it has since become a lifeline for him.

“Social media saved my life absolutely,” Trozzi said. With over 200,000 followers, he posts daily videos that inspire many to persevere through their own struggles.

Serving in the Coast Guard prior to his accident, Trozzi says hes still helping people today.

I was trained at a boot camp in New Jersey how to save people’s lives,” Trozzi said. “My life drastically changed, but heres the incredible thing. Im still saving people’s lives.”