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Meet a new Tar Heel: Luis Sanchez

After a life-changing accident left Luis Sanchez unable to regain his full ability to walk for nearly a year in high school, his eyes were opened to the world of biomedical engineering. This fall, he will begin his path to a career in the field as a Tar Heel.

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A trip across the street nearly three years ago altered the life of incoming first-year Carolina student Luis Sanchez in ways he could have never imagined.

“When I was a sophomore in high school, I was crossing a road one day after a work event, and I got hit by a car,” Sanchez said. “I went to the hospital. At first, everything seemed OK. They told me I was lucky to be alive.”

But then Sanchez, who grew up in Raleigh, endured a series of setbacks. Between the torn meniscus and infections, Sanchez underwent three surgeries and wasn’t able to regain his full ability to walk for nearly a year.

As he gained his strength, though, he also developed a clear vision of what he wanted to study at Carolina and pursue as a career: biomedical engineering.

“My life experience really pointed me in the direction of how I should use my creativity,” Sanchez said. “The accident is really what put biomedical engineering on the radar for me. Learning about what they do in the day-to-day and learning about how those devices can really help people definitely sparked my interest in it.”