Nik Hoot is just 23 years old, but already he has faced more challenges in life than most people.
Those challenges began in 1996 in Russia when his biological mother had a late-term abortion at 24 weeks of pregnancy, The Epoch Times reports. Though the abortion was supposed to kill him, Nik survived.
Born prematurely and without legs and some of his fingers, Nik eventually was adopted by a family from Indiana.
His adopted mother, Apryl Hoot, admitted that she struggled with insecurities when they adopted him. She was 46 years old at the time and had never cared for a child with prosthetic limbs before, she said.
“I was scared for two weeks to put his legs on him. After that, it was like ‘oh, ok, his legs go on like you dress your other kids,’” she told WANE News. “They sent home this tiny walker […] he threw his walker away about two days after he got it, used furniture, and in two weeks time he was running.”
Apryl said Nik overcame many of the doubts and fears she had about him as he was growing up – especially his interest in playing sports.
“For two years, I didn’t want him to play baseball,” she told the local news. “I was afraid, he can’t run the bases fast enough like the other kids. They’ll make fun of him. I was wrong.”
He succeeded at baseball and eventually became involved in wrestling. He even made it to the state wrestling championships in high school.
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In an interview with the local news, Nik compared his wrestling training to his life journey.
“It’s so disciplined. There’s so much you don’t want to do like all the hard work and conditioning,” he told WANE. “That’s just part of life. You’re going to hit a lot of barriers in life, but you really have to get over them.”
Today, Nik is 23 years old and working in landscaping, according to the Times. His family continues to share his story with the hope of inspiring other families to choose life for their unborn babies.
“Anybody can become anything,” Nik said, previously. “Getting rid of a kid like that isn’t right to me. I just look at myself as a miracle.”
Hundreds – possibly thousands – of babies have survived abortions. Like Nik, many tell their stories publicly to help people understand the value of every human life.