"I shouldn't have survived, but I did, so there must have been some purpose in it," Austin said.
Austin was born into "an incredible family" and was experiencing the "childhood that most kids dream of" when tragedy struck in his life for the first time in 2003, forever altering his way of life. When he was just eight years old, his family's single-engine plane that was returning from their Walloon Lake, Michigan, lake cottage crashed into a utility pole in Wells County, Indiana, killing his mother Julie, 38, and siblings Lindsay, 11, and Ian, 5, per PEOPLE.
While Austin was just recovering from this loss, in 2011, he took a plane to the family's lake property to celebrate his most recent achievement: receiving a scholarship to the University of Michigan. Tragedy struck again when the family's new plane crashed into a garage in Charlevoix, killing Stephen, Austin's father, 46, and Kim, Austin's stepmother, 44.
Had no idea how cool it would be to be your dad buddy! pic.twitter.com/EaVR4M0G9r— Austin Hatch (@AustinHatch30) February 27, 2023
Austin now resides in Ann Arbour, Michigan, with his wife Abby, 27, whom he married in June 2018, and their 7-month-old baby Hudson. Austin, in conversation with PEOPLE, reflected on how he managed to transform those terrible tragedies into a life of meaning. "The chances of surviving two plane crashes is 1 in 11 quadrillions and 560 trillion," said Austin, who had to relearn how to walk, talk, and eat post a severe brain injury, shattered collarbones, and a punctured lung from the second plane accident, while also dealing with the emotional grief of losing his entire family.
"I shouldn't have survived, but I did, so there must have been some purpose in it," he said.
Hudson’s first Christmas! pic.twitter.com/ZmRFo6T3t6— Austin Hatch (@AustinHatch30) December 25, 2022
On the first day of a political science class a year later, he met Abby, "the girl of his dreams". Austin had transferred to the University of Michigan at that point. Austin remembers, "I said, 'I got a seat next to me,' and we hit it off."
The rest is history for the couple, who began dating a few months later and were married two months after they received their degrees. They then began the process of becoming parents. In October 2022, two years after starting IVF procedures, Austin and his wife welcomed their son Hudson into the world. Austin was 28 years old at the time.
You’ve never been more beautiful than you are carrying our baby. Happy birthday Ab 🥰 pic.twitter.com/3ujYIVbvsS— Austin Hatch (@AustinHatch30) September 15, 2022
Austin has learned some difficult life lessons, and as a result, the couple doesn't waste any time. "She's an incredible wife and I am so grateful for her," said Austin. He added, "I don't think that mindset is necessarily due to what I've lost, but maybe it has given me an even greater appreciation for the woman she is."
"It's all about being a great husband to my wife, who is an incredible mom, and sharing the lessons from my dad with our son and future generations," he added. Austin makes sure to always remember the family he lost while concentrating on the family he has built. "I do everything I can to keep their spirit and their memory alive every day," he said.
Happy to announce my first hire at Overcome It, LLC. Hudson will be fielding all speaking requests.— Austin Hatch (@AustinHatch30) January 17, 2023
Please give him grace on any typos. We’re working on his spelling. pic.twitter.com/EAXPRQxrVk
Cover Image Source: Twitter | @AustinHatch30