Four years ago, Ricky Barber barely gave a thought to attending college, until suddenly he had a much bigger challenge: recovering from an accident at age 13 that left him nearly decapitated.

Doctors say it is a miracle Barber survived after being hit by a car in 2004, leaving his head attached to his body by skin only, MyFoxPhoenix.com reports.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital surgeons reattached the teen’s neck with pins and rods, but his left arm remained paralyzed.

"I have a lot of determination and will and I think when I got hit, that determination and will to keep living was still there," Barber said back then.

Barber had to be home-schooled during his recovery. And without this experience he probably wouldn't have gone to college, but the accident changed his outlook on life, MyFoxPhoenix.com reports.

"I was given a second chance to better my life," Barber, now 17, told the station.

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