Kelowna rider faces grim reality
Bruce Cook always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude in his heart.
Those attributes are being severely tested after the Kelowna freestyle motocross rider crashed while attempting a never-before-completed forward double flip at a show in Hamilton, ON.
"It's unlikely I'll walk again is what one of the doctors said. That kind of goes in one ear and out the other. I'll pull through," Cook stated emphatically from his hospital bed in Hamilton, ON Monday afternoon during an interview with Castanet.net.
"I still have no feeling from my belly button down, but just staying positive I'll be back on my feet," says Cook.
Cook says the accident crushed the T11 in his back. "It was completely separated," says Cook.
Saturday morning Cook underwent three hours of surgery where doctors inserted plates and screws to get it back together.
If he does recover, Cook says he'll get back to doing what he loves to do.
"It's a passion I've had since I could basically walk. It's all I've know," says Cook.
"It's pretty awesome to have a passion you can make a living at. I'll take my time and make sure everything is healed as well as possible."
The accident happened on the Nitro Circus North American tour; a travelling freestyle motocross show.
Cook says he had been planning and practicing the forward double flip for about six weeks.
"I had it coming around pretty good into the foam pit but there's only so much calculation you can do going from foam to a landing," says Cook of his preparation.
The veteran rider says he felt confident heading into Friday's show that everything would go according to plan.
"Everyone was confident which helped big time. You always want to be (confident) going into tricks like this or even normal shows with a lot of confidence to keep you safe," says Cook.
"I don't think anybody expected me to stick (the landing) like that. You always try to think out the worst case scenario. It could have been worse, but I didn't see it going that bad."
The trick is quick, lasting just a few seconds from ramp to ramp. Cook says he really didn't know things were going wrong until the end.
"Right before you're landing you should catch a glimpse of where you are going to land. It didn't come to that point and I landed vertical," says Cook.
"How my feet came off and landed below me - it was kind of the worse case scenario. I think I basically folded backwards."
Cook says mats in the landing area would have helped cushion the blow had he landed on his back,.
Since news of the crash began to spread Cook has been flooded with well wishes from friends and fans all over the world.
He says the response has been overwhelming.
"There's been literally tens of thousands of messages of support from around the world. It honestly helps to get that kind of support and the smiles that are coming in," added Cook.
"You can't help but smile when you get these pictures and messages."
It's hard not to smile back at Cook who, even while lying on his back in a hospital room thousands of miles from home, has a positive message of hope.
"I will pull through this. If it motivates other people to pull through their hard times - even if it motivates one person to pull through their hard times then it kind of pays off."
Click here to link to Bruce Cook's Facebook page and send your well wishes.
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