At the age of 12 Rene' was electrocuted while getting a kite out of power lines. As a result of the electrocution he lost both arms and legs. While he was in the hospital recovering from the surgery, Mr. Byrd a member of Hartford FUMC, saw him and inquired about his future. While working in Guatemala, Mr. Byrd began making arrangements for Rene to travel to the U.S. for prosthetics and physical therapy. The Shriner's Children' Hospital accepted Rene as a patient and built prosthetics and provided the therapy needed for him to regain mobility. Since that time work with Rene has continued. After leaving Guatemala, Mr. Byrd enlisted the help of the church to continue working with Rene. Over the years the church and the Hartford community have been involved with Rene and his family to assist him in living a self sustaining life. Below is a timeline of events and Rene's achievements.
1997-Rene resumes school at the age of 14 (he has the equivalent of a first grade education)
2006-Work begins to build Rene a new home in Guatemala
2007-Rene begins college
2011-Rene gets new prosthetics
2012-Rene graduates from college
2014-Rene is currently finishing a graduate degree. Upon Graduation he is planning a career in Social Work.