Spurred on by his dis­abil­ity


A CAPE Town man who lost his mo­bil­ity af­ter be­ing tossed out of a train while try to help 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,” Dar­ryn Au­gust said.

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 re­peat­edly beat him and then threw him out of the mov­ing train.

So se­vere were his in­juries that he was left 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 can to help, come what may,” he said.

Au­gust’s friend Graeme Kuys found out what had tran­spired and de­cided to of­fer his as­sis­tance. Crowd-fund­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion Back­aBuddy set up a cam­paign in May last year to raise R50 000 to­wards Au­gust’s med­i­cal fees.

Au­gust be­gan the re­quired treat­ment and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion at Tyger­berg Hospi­tal and be­gan phys­io­ther­apy at Groote Schuur Hospi­tal, which he man­aged to fin­ish a month be­fore the pre­scribed time.

“I’ve be­come much stronger in so many ways. Phys­i­cally, I am dif­fer­ent, but I’m not phys­i­cally or men­tally weak­ened.

“It feels like I have a greater, more mean­ing­ful pur­pose in life.

“Look­ing back, I wouldn’t change any­thing as I be­lieve that ev­ery­thing hap­pens the way it’s sup­pose to. I man­aged to im­pact some­one else’s life in some way,” he said.

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