SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — 16-year-old O’Gorman High School junior Matthew Schulte’s musical talent is evident from the first note you hear him sing. For Schulte, music is much more than a hobby; it’s more like a personal soundtrack.
“Music is just kind of like a lifestyle to me, ’cause I’m in the band there at O’Gorman, and I participate in the marching band during the summer,” Schulte said. “So yeah, it’s just fully part of my life.”
Schulte has made a remarkable recovery considering where he was just a short time ago. A November car crash temporarily silenced his voice; he could neither walk nor talk.
“I hit my head on the center console and got a brain injury on the right side, and then I broke some ribs as well,” Schulte said.
“He was totally unconscious for three weeks, and then after that he was nonverbal for several weeks,” Matthew’s father Jon Schulte said.
After therapy at a Nebraska hospital, Matthew is now walking with the help of a cane. He’ll soon perform in a American Choral Directors Association’s national honor choir in Cincinnati, Ohio. He flies out to Cincinnati next week for his performance on Feb. 25.
“I was really looking forward to it before the crash especially, and now I’m still able to participate in it,” Matthew said.
Matthew presses on with therapy, inspiring loved ones along the way. 17 friends visited him in Nebraska.
“His can-do attitude is really inspiring,” Jon said. “Like I say with his friends, he’s always been an inspiration for us.”
“It just feels amazing because beforehand I couldn’t walk at all, and I was just stuck in bed, but now I’m just moving all around,” Matthew said.
And, of course, singing.