Joel Caldwell, who has contributed here to the Radavist before, has been through a lot in the last year and while you could say that about most of our lives, Joel’s story really resonated with me and put the notion of struggles into perspective. He dives into it in the latest issue of Far Ride Magazine, who just posted this interview:
Recently you experienced a rather large change in your life. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I had a job that I’d pitched to a motorcycle magazine. Air Canada had a deal where you could fly from Montreal to Frankfurt with your motorcycle for 800 extra dollars. So, I packed my motorcycle, flew to Frankfurt and rode down across the Alps to pick up my then-girlfriend, Hailey, and we rode around Italy for ten days. I proposed to her in Tuscany. When we came back, we started thinking about what we wanted to do and decided on a small wedding in Tuscany, as we’d just fallen in love with it. So, in June of 2017, I flew to Germany to pick up my motorcycle and ride down to Italy again.
I made it about half a day when I had a really bad accident. I spent a month in the hospital, missed my wedding—all of my family and friends were already in Italy at the time. Hailey obviously missed it as well. She was up in the hospital with me in Germany. Ultimately, I had a pretty bad concussion. I had double vision for two months, a broken arm and ended up having to get my left leg amputated below the knee. It was a pretty big shock. There was too much damage in the foot and ankle. The opportunity to try and save the foot through a series of reconstructive surgeries was offered to me, but the likelihood of chronic pain and a fused ankle was not an attractive option.
The surgeons and healthcare professionals in Germany were amazing. They told me that if I wanted to continue to be an independent and athletic person, a below the knee amputation could still allow for that. That was eight months ago.
Check out the full piece at Far Ride!