Child's Recovery Puts a New Twist on 'Oliver'

At one time or another every child has probably dreamed of becoming an actor, but the odds of making it are astronomical. But one Heartland actor has overcome even bigger odds. Chris Hurst is 12-years-old and has the lead role in a children's production of Oliver. The twist is what he had to overcome to ever get on-stage in the first place!

Chris Hurst couldn't believe it when he got the lead role in Oliver at Shawnee Community College. It's a dream he's had since he was a little boy. A dream that was almost taken away two years ago, when Chris and his brother were in a serious car accident. Chris says, "I just remember waking up in the hospital, and my family was standing around me saying we love you." Chris' mom Diane Pearl says, "We went through a period of time where we didn't think he would make it." For two months, Chris was in a full body cast. He had several fractures, serious injuries to his head, and was in and out of a coma. Slowly, he started to get better, and doctors urged Chris to get out and start doing things again. At that point, he started to get into acting. "It makes me feel good when people clap. I like it when they clap for us after we sing our songs," Chris says.

Even though there's only a few shows left, it's a performance that will last in Chris and his family's minds forever. Diane says, "We're very proud of him. To think that at one time he could have lost his leg, this is beyond what I ever could have believed."