Train hero sets sights on athletics
A CAPE TOWN man who lost his mobility after being tossed out of a train while saving strangers is determined to be part of the national paraplegic athletics team.
“I’ll be doing training to become a part of the paraplegic association at Stellenbosch University, where I’ll be training to do track and field events and hopefully be invited to represent South Africa at various events,” says Darryn August.
August, who used to be a teacher and is now a motivational speaker, was trying to save two women from robbers on a train in April last year. However, the robbers beat him up and threw him out of the moving train. He became paralysed from the waist down.
“I made a promise to myself ages before that day that if ever I saw anyone in a dangerous situation, I’d do whatever I could to help, come what may,” he said.
When August’s friend, Graeme Kuys, heard about it, he offered to help, knowing August to be full of energy.
Crowd-funding organisation BackaBuddy set up a campaign in May that year to raise R50 000 towards August’s medical fees. Kuys pledged to cycle laps of the Steenbras Dam Viewpoint, a total distance of 8 848m, and the equivalent of Mount Everest’s elevation.
Within a few days, the initial R50 000 target was surpassed, and more than R500 000 was raised.
August began treatment and rehabilitation at Tygerberg Hospital and physiotherapy at Groote Schuur Hospital, which he completed in record time.