February 25, 2016 - 9:00 PM
"I MESSED UP AND I ALMOST DIED."
LAKE COUNTRY – A spontaneous decision to take an ATV for a ride after a few drinks taught an Okanagan man a valuable lesson when a crash put him in a coma for 12 days.
Kaiden Ross was 18-years-old on Aug. 12 last summer. He was drinking at a friend’s house in Lake Country when he decided to take an ATV that his friend had been working on for a spin.
“It’s crazy how your life can change so quickly,” he says. “I was thinking about wearing a helmet, but I was thinking if I get in a crash nothing is going to happen to me.”
The last thing Ross remembers is driving very fast with a friend down a rural road.
His friend tells him they hit a bump and one of the front tires came off. She flew over him and skidded across the pavement. When she looked back at Ross he was face down on the road, snoring.
“There was blood running down from everywhere,” he says.
His brain was bruised and swelling, and his arms, hands, knees and feet were bleeding. Fortunately some farmers who were working in a field nearby saw the wreck, called 9-1-1 and came to help.
Ross was taken to hospital where he would spend the next 52 days.
Doctors were uncertain he would ever fully recover but within weeks of waking up Ross was showing signs of improvement.
“I was drooling, my right arm was up. I almost died,” he says. “I had four neurological tests at the very beginning and I was severely impaired."
Ross says he was was taught how to walk again and he doesn't have any headaches or pain now.
"None of my doctors have ever seen it before.”
Throughout Ross’ rehabilitation his mother was taking pictures and shooting video.
“She did it to see the progress,” he says. The videos and pictures were posted to the Internet.
Ross says the accident changed him in a lot of ways. Although he admits he never should have driven after drinking, and he should have worn a helmet, he wouldn’t change anything.
“Family is number one now, so yeah, I like how I’m closer to my family,” he says. "I don't regret anything except not wearing a helmet."
Ross plans to use his experience to warn other young people about the dangers that follow a bad decision. His school has invited him to speak at an assembly in the next few weeks, something he says he is looking forward to.
“They want me to speak to the classes and talk about what happened and how your life can change so quickly,” he says. “That’s also why I posted the videos. I was thinking (at the time) if I get in a crash nothing is going to happen to me, but I messed up and I almost died.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016