Two best friends, two separate events that nearly took their lives. We learned about the bond that kept Joey Hackett and Brandon Clark fighting to survive.In April of 2016, a man armed with a shotgun opened fire on Brandon Clark and his friends during a get-together. Brandon was shot in the back before he could escape.Joe Hackett, Brandon’s best friend since grade school, was supposed to be out with him that night but opted to stay home with his then pregnant wife. But when he got the call, he sprung into action. “I drove right to the building where it happened, I was still in my pajamas, you heard someone was killed. You don’t know who it was and you can’t find two of your friends, it’s one of the worst feelings” says, Hackett.Brandon suffered serious internal injuries, his spleen was removed and his abdominal wall had to be rebuilt. He was hospitalized for five weeks, but he wasn’t alone.Just 16 months later, the friends switched spots. Hackett, now a father of a baby boy was caught in a freak accident when an 18-tonne road grater crushed him.Found without a pulse, Joey was rushed to the operating room and immediately put into a medically-induced coma.Three days later, “When my eyes first opened, Brandon was in front of me. Brandon called my parents, called my wife and told everyone ‘he’s waking up come to the hospital.’While Joey’s injuries and recovery were more extensive than his best friend, Brandon’s own brush with death and subsequent bounce back encouraged him.Both credit the regional trauma centres’ team for giving each of them a second chance at life.Two years after Joey’s accident, both men are living fuller lives and now share a friendship that near tragedy couldn’t break.Both men will be taking part in next month’s ‘Strides for the General’ to raise money for treatments not normally covered by OHIP. The run is in it’s 8th year and looks to raise $1-million this year.