Stu Crichton who is a long time member of the Southland BMX Club in the deep south, was unlucky to have a heavy fall during a club race, on November 27th.
Stu was baled up behind a tangle of riders in front of him and went down hard with no time to react and put his arms out. The result was a head first impact into the face of the oncoming jump.
The news we received following Stu’s admission to hospital was not what we wanted to hear. Although we had taken all the preventative measures for the worst case scenario, we honestly thought the news would not be as serious as it was. Stu was transferred from Southland Kew Hospital through to Christchurch Burwood unit on the 28th November and then he was admitted to Christchurch ICU until he stabilsed. It was scary news for the family and his mates at the Southland BMX Club.
Stu and family was given a prognoses of C3 to C7 spinal damage, and his first specialist broke the news to the family that he would be a tetraplegic with little or no movement from the neck down.
The determination and grit that Stu has shown during his therapy sessions is amazing. He fairly much has said he will be the one to determine his prognosis, not the doctors. Due to this determination Stu is now up and walking. He doesn’t walk far, but can get around with the use of his stick. He does have a wheel chair for the long distant trips. He has made an amazing recovery considering the initial prognosis.
Southland BMX is lucky to have fantastic club families, and we were able to offer some financial support to the family. We run a club night, where some Alexandra and Dunedin riders came down. We had a small entry fee for the racing, operated the shop and run raffles during the night and were lucky to raise $2000.00.
A pub quiz was held on March 17th, to raise additional funds. This was again really well supported by BMX families. We raised a further $2500.00 for the family. The biggest surprise of the night was when Stu walked in the door. He had been given the all clear to leave Burwood.
One of the things that I appreciate the most about being involved in BMX, is the support, respect and kindness shown to each other. Yes BMX is a competitive sport and of course accidents happen, but when they do, its great we have this big extended BMX family that supports and encourages our riders.
Stu’s recovery is an amazing display of true grit and determination and shows with the right attitude and support behind you, great things can happen.
Keep up the hard work Stu.