"Mom always said I was stubborn."
It will be eight years as of June 25th (2016). I was 22 years old and living life to the fullest. I had been the victim of a serious motorcycle accident in Alberta, Canada. A car came through an intersection and crashed into my left side, causing me to be thrown from my bike, into a nearby car, which was waiting to pull away from the stop sign at the opposite end of the intersection.
Luckily, Two nurses happened to witness the accident, they ran to my side to help. When Paramedics arrived, they took over. At that time I was without a pulse but they managed to bring me back. Later, after prepping me at the hospital in Fort McMurray (AB), I was diagnosed as a ‘3’ on the Glasgow coma scale, which is equivalent to a piece of board. I was air lifted to the University of Alberta Hospital where I spent my first 5 weeks in a medically induced coma. My injuries were substantial: I broke my neck (from C3 to C6 vertebrae), bruised my spinal cord, both knees blown, and crushed ALL ribs on my left side. MY left leg was hanging by a thread of skin, and was amputated to save my life. My Skull was also cracked and with that came severe brain damage. The doctors at the U of A told my parents that if I pulled out of this, my brain capacity would probably be equal to that of a small child, IF, I ever happened to pull out of the coma. The Doctors said I was fortunate to not be paralyzed from the neck down.
To the surprise and disbelief of doctors and family, I woke up! After a two-week wait, I was moved to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Centre in Edmonton. I faced an almost impossible uphill battle. The loss of a limb left me immobile, and numbness in my hands prevented me from doing tasks that we all take for granted, such as eating, writing, and caring for my own personal hygiene. I was a mess, but I kept positive.
I spent countless hours working with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses and many other health professionals. I pushed on to walk after hours by myself and with friends to regain normal function. After only 5 short weeks, I WALKED out of the Glenrose Rehab Centre with my bag on my back, ready to live my life to its fullest.
The first day I got out of the hospital I went back to Fort McMurray and took my pedal bike out and thought I could do this! Three days out, I was back on a motorcycle and to my surprise, this setback didn’t scare me anymore. I joined my gym within a week and kept pushing myself forward! Everything the Doctors told me I shouldn’t do, I made it a point to do! With the help of the Physio team at the Glenrose in Edmonton, I was determined to overcome this! I got back into serious weight training, played ball hockey, soft ball and laced up my skates again, but my biggest passion was sledding and I could not wait to get back in the saddle to see if I could push myself to get better.
Almost eight years later, I am now a far better rider than I could have ever imagined I would have been while I was in the hospital. I push myself so hard to become better and to try things people with two feet and no injuries wouldn’t try and let me tell you, it has been very satisfying!
Along this journey, I knew I needed the right gear if I was going to be doing this. And that’s when I found Motorfist! This gear is light, breathable, keep’s me dry, it flexes and is tough as hell! I tend to bounce off of a few trees getting to the top.
I couldn’t ask for better situation to be in right now. I’m a Sledcore Team Rider, have been featured in Sledworthy Magazine and many other local publications and I’m also in the finals of a contest titled North Americas Top Snowmobiler that Supertrax Mag (Snowtrax television) are putting off and I hope to show the world that with the right attitude and drive to be better, plus, with a little stubbornness, you can overcome so much. NOBODY DETERMINES YOUR LIMITATIONS! Keep an eye out for 5ToesRiding. I’m hoping to give-back to amputees like me to help them achieve their dreams.
~ Troy Burt
5 Toes Riding