MANHATTAN, Kan. — A summer ride on an ATV in Manhattan, Kansas, nearly turned deadly for one K-State student. Now Kye Schmale’s parents are sharing his story, one of courage, as the 21-year-old begins his recovery that will last months, if not years. 

“It was really overwhelming. My son is beautiful man, he is a good-looking guy, and the lower part of his jaw was pretty non-existent at that point,” said his mom, Whitney Schmale. 

Kye Schmale, a former two sport varsity athlete at Olathe East High School, now a master’s student at K-State. Tuesday that was almost ripped away from him. 

“We got a call from an emergency personnel in Riley County saying they were loading him up into the ambulance,” said Whitney. 

That call coming after his parents were notified that Kye had a hard collision through an app on their phone. Kye was headed to go fishing when the four-wheeler he was riding in flipped more than three times. 

The next time they would hear his voice he would be in the back of the ambulance. 

“I heard his voice and he said I’m going to be ok, but I’m pretty messed up,” said Schmale. 

His parents, more than two hours away from Manhattan, jumped in their car, but before they could get there Kye would have to be flown to Topeka. That’s when they first saw their son. 

Within the span of hours, Kye was in two ambulances, including a life flight from Manhattan to Topeka and three separate hospitals. 

“It’s going to be okay, sometimes it hits, and we just move forward. It’s going to be alright,” said his dad, David Schmale. 

Kye suffered a broken upper and lower jaw, his chin was displaced and for the next two weeks, his mouth will be wired shut, but he’s alive. 

“When we walked in and we knew it was going to be ok. He gives us thumbs up and it’s going to be ok,” said David Schmale. 

They’re just grateful because they know just how differently this could’ve ended for Kye.

“1 or 2 inches one way or the other and this could have had a completely different outcome,” said Whitney Schmale.

Thursday night, Kye had another hurdle. One of his lungs collapsed due to the trauma, but again, the Schmale’s say they’re fortunate that doctors spotted the issue just in time. 

Despite all that he’s went through and will go through, he’s not letting this steal his joy. 

“You always have to find something that you can smile about,” said Kye Schmale. 

His parents report he’s ready to go back to Manhattan already.

His eight roommates getting their best smoothie recipes ready for his return. His mom also told FOX4 that his Snapchat streaks are gone but he’s back snapping again. 

Kye started his master’s program this summer and not only will he still complete that, but he also is set to start his fall master’s semester on time.