First he was injured a few weeks ago during football practice at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens where he is on scholarship.
Then he developed a serious staph infection.
And while he was hospitalized with that, a thief stole his prized 1986 GMC 1500 Sierra truck. But the pickup was more than just shiny black paint and a fresh muffler job.
Austin, 19, had just completed the final phase of restoring the truck, which his dad, Foley Burtnett of Springtown, helped him get for his 16th birthday a few years ago. His dad died in June 2011 from stomach cancer.
"He called me in tears on Friday," said his mother, Kyle Spaulding of Keller. "Austin spent the money his father left him to rebuild that truck in honor of his dad, and in memory of their time together."
Read about efforts to recover the truck in this report from Tom Uhler.