Local man stands up unassisted 6 years after tragic motorbike accident

2019-05-27 13:34
Sandile Mkhize stood-upright unassisted 6 years after his tragic motorbike accident  (PHOTO: Supplied to Drum)

Sandile Mkhize stood-upright unassisted 6 years after his tragic motorbike accident (PHOTO: Supplied to Drum)

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When Sandile Mkhize went for an early breakfast bike run with his friends one morning in 2013, he never thought that it would be the last time. He lost control of his motorbike and that's the last thing he remembers.

Six years later, the 30-year-old BCom Financial Management student managed to stand up unassisted for the first time since the life-changing accident.

This is his story.

"I broke my back in three places, rendering me a T5 paraplegic and after spending two-and-a-half years in hospital as well as rehab in the beginning of my journey, I had started to believe that I would never be able to stand unassisted, let alone walk again.

"But six years later, I defied all odds after my wonderful girlfriend convinced me to go back to therapy in March this year. My standing moment was truly a result of her support. I wasn't born a paraplegic, but if there's anything my accident has taught, me it's the importance of purpose. Growing up, I was really active in sports, from rugby to basketball. to say the least, I was a curious kid and sometimes I got myself into trouble with my parents because of this.

"I can still recall the day of the tragic accident quite vividly. It was on 23 January 2013 and I went on a breakfast bike run with a few friends early that morning. I lost control of my motorbike as I was turning and ended up going off road. I can't exactly detail what occurred thereafter but I faintly remember waking up on the floor with paramedics surrounding me and I knew something was wrong.

"When the doctor told me that I would possibly never be able to walk again, I think at first, I didn't really understand what that meant at the time. But I do remember feeling sad and slightly indifferent.

"As heart-wrenching as this was in 2013, I also decided to participate in my first Wings for Life World Run which works in partnership with a non-profit organisation known as One Chance At Life (OCAL) that is committed to mobilising diverse support towards the growing needs of differently-abled persons. From then onwards, I have continued to work in conjunction with OCAL to accomplish the gift of mobility for those who need it, across South Africa.

"Standing for the first time was the most exciting and overwhelming experience of my life, after years of feeling like I would be conditioned to certain limits. The latter moment has led me to believe that anything is possible and walking is my next goal.

"The accident has truly taught me that life is very finite and we can lose it at any moment."

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