When NewsChannel 9 photojournalist Scott Irving reflects on a career of more than 30 years in television, it’s clear the excitement that brought him into the business still hasn’t left.
“There’s so many stories out there,” Irving said from his living room in Syracuse. “And I loved sharing the good news stories. I just loved people having me be a part of their lives.”
His other passion in life, running, came much later. Only within the last year had Irving began a regular routine of participating in summer races throughout the region.
And in July, the Utica native was preparing for his most significant: the Boilermaker 5k.
But just three days before the race, life had other plans.
“It was split second,” Irving said. “Everything changed.”
Near his camp in the Adirondacks, Irving was involved in a car accident that nearly killed him. Among other injuries, he broke his neck and had his right leg amputated below the knee.
Irving describes it as a “miracle” he’s still alive.
“I very easily could have bled at the scene,” he said.
After being airlifted to Upstate Medical University, Irving endured a number of surgeries that would save his life.
He then began months of intense physical therapy. Irving’s doctor, Matthew Sullivan, calls him one of the most motivated patients he’s ever seen.
“If he didn’t have a great outlook and wasn’t this motivated, none of [his progress] would be possible,” Dr. Sullivan said.
Now, Irving is hoping to use his story to help uplift others who may be going through challenges in their own life.
“If nothing else, me being positive may help other people when they’re faced with adversity,” Irving said. “Because you only have a couple of choices. You can sit back and you wallow in it or you move forward.”