A Toronto-area man who lost his right leg in a workplace accident three years ago ran his first five kilometre race on St. Patrick's Day, with his physical rehab workers by his side.
Patrick Doyle was working as a machinist in Brampton when he was crushed beneath a 10-tonne piece of equipment on Sept. 9, 2013, leaving him in a coma for three weeks with broken bones in his left arm and face. His right leg had to be amputated.
Doctors originally didn't expect him to survive through the night, he told CBC News.
"From being in a coma, hospital, wheelchair and now, all of sudden, to get back to do something I want to do? That's where I want to be," he said just before starting the Achilles St. Patrick's Day Race in downtown Toronto on Saturday.
"I mean, for a guy who two-and-a-half years ago was practically or almost dead, and now to be a guy who is sitting here with a bunch of people going to run five [kilometres]? For me, that's a big thing."
Doyle, who originally hails from Ireland, ran on behalf of West Park Healthcare, the physical rehabilitation centre where he slowly learned to walk and run on his prosthetic leg.
"That's where I went from a wheelchair, which I gave up because I didn't want it, and I walked and I got exercise," he said.
"When I went in originally to when I left, it was a big difference. They tested me before and they tested me after and said, 'My god, you've come such a long way.'"
He was joined by 20 others from West Park, including both of the healthcare workers who guided his recovery and several other patients who trained alongside him.
Next stop, New York City
His goal for Saturday's race was twofold — not to come in last and to beat the staff at West Park, something he managed to accomplish.
"I want to beat some of them," he said, laughing. "I hope they don't hear that."
Pooja Arora, his physiotherapist, didn't mind losing to Doyle.
"I was a student at West Park and has the opportunity to work with Patrick. And he was just great to work with, he's been working really hard," Arora said before the race, admitting she'd probably lose the race to him.
"I'm excited for him," she said.
Doyle will be doing plenty more running after today's race.
Richard Traum, Achilles Canada's founder, invited Doyle to participate in Achilles International's New York City marathon in November and he accepted.
Achilles Canada is a non-profit organization that provides people with various disabilities an opportunity to run, something the organization says provides "physical, psychological, and communal benefits."