A B.C. dirt bike stunt driver is staying positive despite a weekend crash in Hamilton that robbed him of any feeling below the waist.
Bruce Cook was seriously injured after he crashed during an attempted record-setting stunt during a Nitro Circus show at Copps Coliseum Friday night. The 26-year-old was attempting to set a world record for a double front flip on a dirt bike that ended with a devastating crash into a landing ramp.
Cook told the CBC that through support and determination, he hopes to get back up on his feet.
“I’ve got a long road ahead. My spinal chord wasn’t completely severed but it was severely damaged,” Cook told CBC Radio’s Daybreak South. “I’m staying positive that I’ll get through. I’m staying positive that I’ll walk again with enough work and support and determination.”
Watch the video below. Warning: it can be considered graphic:
On Tuesday, Cook tweeted a smiling photo from his first physiotherapy session, sitting up in a chair. That came only days after a three-hour surgery to repair a crushed vertebra in his back.
“There’s a rod and some pins in there,” he said. “Apparently it went well, considering. Everything’s put back in line and it’s holding strong.”
The freestyle motocross driver says he remembers the entire crash.
“It’s all about timing, speed and your body position of the ramp. You get a quick glimpse of your landing after the first flip, but after that you don’t see landing until you’re almost around,” he said. “I just didn’t get quite enough rotation.”
“I came off the back of my bike and my feet basically dug into the landing … I kind of folded my back down to my feet. Literally the split second before I hit I knew it wasn’t going to be good.”
Cook says he successfully attempted the stunt dozens of times into a foam pit, as well as thousands of “normal” runs onto ramps that don’t include a double front flip.
He expects to receive treatment in Hamilton for another week or so, before flying to a specialized treatment facility in B.C.
Even though he’s not even walking yet, Cook won’t rule out a return to motocross in the future,
“Adrenaline is kind of my drug, and I’ve been hooked on freestyle motocross for a long time,” he said.
“I’m staying positive that I’ll walk again, and then we’ll go from there.”