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The Near-Death Experience of a Downhill Skater

(WARNING: This video contains actual footage of the accident and may be disturbing to sensitive viewers.)

"The doctor told me I'll never walk again, I'll never skate again."

This is the story of Matthew MacDonald - an avid lover of downhill skating and the son of film maker Bruce Macdonald. Matt had been skating for 5 years prior to the accident.

Downhill skating is an extreme sport that has been on a rise. He loved the feeling and the freedom. Everything was left behind when he was skating.

In the midst of making "The Perfect Wave", a film based on the true story of Ian McCormack, Bruce received a devastating phone call: Matt was involved in a downhill skateboarding accident.

On that fateful day, Matt and his friends kicked off from the top of the hill with his friend's dad following behind them in the car.

Everything went smoothly initially until they hit one of the big left corners. Matt's friend went through it first and noticed a white vehicle going up and thought to himself, "I hope everything is ok".

Going into the corner, Matt slid off a small oil patch, went into the wrong lane and slammed head on with oncoming car.

His left leg went straight through the rim of the tire and his right leg went under the tire. Every time the tire turns, it will drive over it again and again, breaking it in many different places. His hands were bleeding. He broke his back on impact.

Matt woke up from under the car and everything was back at first. He just started shouting. He could feel the pain from his legs. His friends helped pull him out from under the car.

Upon impact, out of instinct, Matt prayed.

"God, please help me. Please let me be alive."

Out of pure darkness, he saw light coming from underneath the car. It was a surreal experience.

After all the X-rays, Matt went into surgery that night for his ankles and had bolts, screws and metal plates put in him. He was discharged 3 days later not knowing that he has broken his back, pelvis and his lower spine.

During the 5 days at home, they realized that Matt couldn't walk at all. He started to get really sick, passing out blood and puking out blood. So they took him back to the hospital.

That was when the neurosurgeon came in and told them that Matt might never walk again.

"I'm going to be able to walk again. I'm going to be able to skate again."

Despite all the injuries and trauma he had faced, Matt declared to his mom a day after the accident that he will walk and skate again. In fact, from the very first night, he shouted at the doctor, "No! I won't accept that. I will be able to walk again. I will be fine!"

He was very positive the whole way through.

One day, his parents' prayer group came to pray for him. When they left, he felt tingling in his feet, and electric shocks through his body and spine.

Just a few hours after the prayer, he could feel and move again. He pressed the bell for the nurse and explained to her that he was having this weird tingling sensations all over his body and did not know what was going on.

She said to him that that is the feeling when your nerves are re-igniting.

This was probably the beginning of Matt's healing.

About a year after the accident, Matt is skating and racing again.


"With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible." - Matt 19:26


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