The memories of that fateful day when one abnormal crash changed my life forever are imprinted on my mind like the bible. Being rushed to the hospital, my girlfriend in the front seat, sobbing, the mass amount of interns surrounding me when I was thrust into the ER from the ambulance. In the following days, much talk surrounded what the next plan of action was. Do we wait to do the surgery at a different hospital? Will Craig admit me if my feeling doesn’t come back? It was all so surreal. As someone who raced motocross my whole life, I always knew that type of thing was possible. You saw the dudes like Ernesto Fonseca, Doug Henry & David Bailey, and hell, even Aaron Hill here locally. But, it doesn’t really cross your mind as something that would happen to you. I always thought of the possibilities of me dying on a bike way before I ever thought of paralysis.
Weeks go by & I’m transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado. At that point, my spirits are much better than they were in the drug-hazed days following my crash. But still, the days would come when I cursed God, asking him why the hell he chose me for this, well, hell. Yeah, on the exterior I put on a front of strength & optimism. But, I never really felt all that optimistic. What, between the immediate lack of ability in what felt like every possible facet of life, the fact that riding dirtbikes would never be the same & the helpless feeling that my life would never be as good. The first year was really pretty tough on me, I had good support but I also felt like no one truly understood what was going on with me. How could they? I had my good days, but I also had my extremely dark days.
Fast forward to the present, a little over three years later and I can say with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yeah, I’m still as paralyzed as ever physically. But I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me. My perception, my attitude, my gratitude; my inner being changed 100% for the better as a direct result of my accident.
I don’t know Jessy, nor could I pretend to fathom what he’s experiencing as motocross isn’t just a hobby to him, but a career. I hope with everything in me that this is only temporary and he gains every bit of feeling & function that he had before. But if that’s not the case & he’s forced to face this whole paralysis thing like so many before him, he will have gained one of the greatest blessings in disguise that he could imagine. Because even though it would be devastating to see such a promising career cut short so soon, it will be incredible to see what he can do beyond racing. The possibilities will be far more endless than they would have ever been before. Best of luck to ya Jessy, we’re all pulling for you.