Man left paralysed after being thrown from a train sets his sights on the Paralympics

2017-11-22 14:55
PHOTO: Facebook/Darryn August

PHOTO: Facebook/Darryn August

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A man who was thrown from a moving train and left for dead after protecting two women from being robbed has set his heart on taking part in the 2020 Paralympics.

In April last year Darryn August was on his way to work in Somerset West in the Western Cape when he suddenly noticed a few men who made it known they were planning to rob passengers on the train.

The 28-year-old quickly tried to stop the robbers but his heroic efforts saw him beaten and thrown out of the carriage.

Darryn, who’s originally from Athlone but now lives in Schaap Kraal, Cape Town, was told by doctors he wouldn’t be able to walk again.

“I never anticipated I’d have been left disabled because of me intervening,” Darryn told YOU.

“My emotions overcame me like a wave of uncontrolled amounts of crying and a consistent depression.”

The accredited life skills facilitator and trainer, who’s slowly adapting to life in a wheelchair, reveals he was fortunate enough to meet the two women he heroically saved on the train. “I’ve been fortunate to meet the women right after that day. It was a really emotional and overwhelming experience,” he says.

“Maintaining contact has proven difficult since then. I never expected anything. All I wanted was for them to know I’m in good health and safe.”

Even though he lost the ability to walk after the incident, Darryn says he’d never take back what he did that day and is extremely grateful he could help those women.  

“Luckily I don’t have any regrets running through my veins.

“If I did I’d have seen this journey as a curse rather than a blessing, and as much as I think about the ‘what ifs’ I’d rather focus on the ‘what I can do now’.”

Darryn hopes to make his family and South Africa proud by competing in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.

“I’ve always been competitive in everything I’ve done in life, whether it be sport or motivating my colleagues to try and do better at a team-building event.

“The concept of competing in the games was born out of a hunger to make my family proud as well as being able to represent my country on a global platform,” he says. 

Darryn hopes to compete in the para-cycling and para-canoeing items and has stepped up his physiotherapy to prepare himself for the many hours he’ll have to spend on the track circuit.

“These two disciplines take two starkly different training regimes as well as requiring me to be mentally sound,” he says.

The positive Capetonian, who’s been labelled a hero in his community, says he’ll always strive to improve himself even though he doesn’t have the full use of his legs.

“Life goes on. That’s not the end of my journey, and just knowing that so many South Africans believe in me fuels my desire to make them proud to be a part of Mzansi even more.”

Read more on:    train accident  |  paralympics  |  darryn august

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