WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — It's a story of perseverance and success. A Houston County man celebrates his life and his business after spending nearly two years in a coma.
"They didn't expect me to live. No doctor had any prognosis of me being able to survive," Zachary Horton said about his diagnosis.
Just seven months out of college, Horton started to experience migraines then came the news that would change his life forever.
"Ultimately, got sent to a neurologist, he did a number of test. A doctor came in the room and point blank told my mom and I that I had a brain tumor and they would send a neurosurgeon into see me shortly," Horton said.
Horton had a shunt put in to control the pressure in his brain but just a week later, the shunt failed.
After another surgery, he went blind. He went in for a second surgery, then life threw another curve ball.
"In May of 2013 with the second shunt failure, I slipped into a coma and I did not wake up until Christmas Day 2014, so 20 months in a coma. 23 when I went to sleep, 25 when I woke up," he said.
He had to relearn everything but still wanted a life and a career. This is when he got into the pecan business through a friend.
Now, what he first called Blind Man's Pecans turned into The Blind Squirrel Nut Company.
"I started out calling them Blind Man's Pecans but I really just realized people enjoy these pecans, the flavored and the candied ones that we got in at the same time they really just took a hit," he said.
Horton believes he's on Earth for a reason. He's telling his story using God, humor, and kosher pecans with a message to keep the faith in every bag.
"Very many life verses but at very bottom is one of mine, "for we walk by faith, not by sight", because I would tell anybody, it doesn’t matter whether you can see, whether you can hear, whether you have some other kind of disability, doesn't matter what the world tells you. There’s a plan for you and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. You're not limited by your circumstances,” he said.
After hearing about his story, Senator Jon Ossoff honored Horton on the floor of the United States senate.
Horton says they've shipped to places like Texas and Puerto Rico and they'll have new flavors, bumper stickers, and t-shirts soon. Horton will be selling pecans at the Byron Market Days in April and May.
You can buy your pecans by stopping by The Warehouse on Moody Road or by going to their website.