Ottawa man paralyzed after slipping on ice, determined to walk again
Published Friday, February 3, 2017 5:36PM EST Last Updated Friday, February 3, 2017 6:39PM EST
We all know life can change in the blink of an eye.
Troy Kraus is living that reality. The 46-year-old Ottawa resident was the healthiest and strongest he had ever been until a simple fall on the ice. Troy Kraus made a huge change in his life a couple of years ago; he lost more than 200 pounds and got into better shape than he had been in his life.
Then, sadly, life changed for him. That fall broke his neck, paralyzed him, but he's determined to move forward.
There are a lot of things Troy Kraus lost that day he slipped on some ice. One of the biggest was his independence. But he refuses, despite all, to lose his optimism.
“I'm a happy guy,” he says, as he sits in a room at the Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre, “working towards a very strong goal and I’m going to get there.”
The 46-year-old network engineer already conquered one goal: he recently lost more than 200 pounds and was in the best shape ever until January 11.
“I was getting ready to go to work,” he says, having decided that day to walk instead of drive for some extra exercise, “I closed the garage, put on my backpack, walked 6 feet down my driveway and fell.”
Kraus had broken his neck in four places. He collapsed, unable to move. A neighbor finally heard Troy calling for help. She looked out and saw him lying in his driveway. She called 911 then ran out to be by his side. He’s convinced she saved his life. Kraus is thankful to her; thankful, too, he had lost that weight.
“If this was had happened at 420 pounds, I’m never getting up again,” he says, “but I’m going to get up, no doubt about it.”
There has been some progress since that fall a toe wiggle, a foot nudge but still there is a very long road to go.
“He's able to wiggle his toes, he can move his foot” says his sister-in-law Bettina Kraus, “but there is still no movement in his hands or arms, so feeding, toileting, showering, all the things we take for granted daily, he needs for help with and will for the rest of his life.”
Troy, who's single, will move in with his brother and sister-in-law, who have been by his side since this happened.
“Pur house, we've got two young kids, it wasn't designed for someone with physical challenges,” says brother Trevor, “so definitely some big costs coming forward and big decisions to be made.”
They have launched a Go Fund Me page to help with the staggering costs that will come.
Still, ever the optimist he's confident about his future.
“I'm not sad, nobody else needs to be sad, it's happened,” he says, “I'm going to fix it and I’m going to move on.”
Troy says when he recovers, and he’s insistent on that word, any money left over from the fundraising efforts will roll into Spinal Cord Injury Ontario to help the next person like him.