Young amputee trains hard to become paralympic athlete and role model
April 13, 2013 is a day that Sergey Kutovoy from Archangelsk, Russia will never forget. He was 17 years old at the time and dreamed constantly of a brighter future. Sergey had always been unhappy with his appearance and wanted desperately to lose weight and achieve his dream body. In school he had weighed over 300 pounds and knew that his goal of becoming a hockey player would never come true if he did not get in shape. And like any 17-year-old he also wanted young women to take notice of him. But on this day, as Sergey made his way home lost in his thoughts, something happened that changed his life forever...
Not noticing the danger, Sergey started to cross a road — unfortunately he would never make it to the other side. Suddenly he felt something hit the back of his head and was thrown 30 feet into the post of a street light. "I looked up and saw my leg. It was crushed and had been ripped from my body. At that moment I didn't feel any pain or fear," remembers Sergey.
Sergey remained in a coma for a week after the accident. Doctors were not able to save his leg and Sergey had to remain in the hospital for nine months while he recovered: "I ate and ate. I didn't care what I looked like. I only wanted to survive. I was in bed the whole time and didn't move at all," he recalls.
When Sergey finally came home, everyone thought that he would be depressed, but the brave young man surprised everyone. He knew that he still had his whole life ahead of him and wasn't about to let the loss of a leg stop him from achieving his goals and fulfilling his dreams.
Like most cities in Russia, Archangelsk is not well-equipped for disabled people. Sergey soon noticed that he would need strong muscles if he wanted to get around on his own. It wasn't possible for him to get to the fitness studio in his wheelchair, so he asked his parents to buy him some equipment so he could work out at home.
The man who had caused the accident was found guilty even though he was able to prove that the brakes on his car had failed. He was sentenced to a year and a half in jail and was ordered to pay $23,000 in damages. But one month later he died of cancer and Sergey never received compensation. "We never got the money," he complained. "I would never ask his relatives to pay. They weren't responsible."
His view of the situation is quite admirable considering how important money is to the family right now. They are not wealthy people and Sergey's treatment is expensive. Sergey is also trying to save enough money to buy his own prosthetic leg.
Two years after the accident, Sergey's family couldn't believe what he had done. He had not only achieved his dream body, he had completely changed his life.
Today Sergey is an Instagram star and has over 115,000 followers who have watched his transformation from chubby outsider to muscular dream man. It's actually hard to believe, but there are some people who have criticized him for not being "normal". One anonymous commenter wrote, "Normally you can pity disabled people but you are just annoying, an a**h*le." Sergey's reply showed his strength of character by not letting such a comment get to him. He simply answered: "Good night, everyone!"
He is already earning money as a model and has done some advertisements for sports brands. His biggest dream is to compete in the Paralympics: "I lost my leg, but not myself," he says.
Sergey now has many friends and loves to play sports, go for walks and even dance in the streets when he feels the urge. He enjoys every movement he can make and has even fulfilled his childhood dream of playing hockey. The way he plays it might not be quite what he had in mind, but Sergey isn't complaining.
A terrible accident may have taken Sergey's leg, but in his mind it gave him much more. He has learned to value life more than he ever could have before and he lives every moment to the fullest. A truly inspiring young man and a great example for all of us!