Over­com­ing chal­lenges that life sends our way

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Dar­ren Say­ers, Springville res­i­dent

Some­time in 2000, I saw a new sport called kite­board­ing. I was so drawn to it!

A few months later, I bought gear and taught my­self to ride. After I could ride on the wa­ter, I found out that there was a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process to be­come an in­struc­tor. I signed up and went to Cal­i­for­nia for the train­ing. My in­struc­tor was Paul Menta, who is con­sid­ered a “guru” of kite­board­ing. I picked his brain to learn how to turn this into a prof­itable business. Paul was a lot like me: an en­tre­pre­neur and wa­ter sport enthusiast.

I im­me­di­ately got started and opened the first kite­board­ing school in Utah.

Late in 2003, a call came from a company in Ja­maica ask­ing for me to come and teach lessons. I could not be­lieve that this was hap­pen­ing to me. I was get­ting paid to be in Ja­maica and do what I loved!

In 2004, I re­turned to Utah. I was liv­ing a life­style I had al­ways dreamed of, mak­ing a liv­ing do­ing some­thing I truly loved to do.

On Cinco De Mayo 2004, I went kite­board­ing with friends. We went to Utah Lake’s “South Bay” to catch rides. That day, a weather anom­aly was in store: a mi­croburst.

The mi­croburst was clocked at 54 miles per hour. The wind that day had been in the 20 to 30 miles per hour range. The kite lofted me 20 feet into the air and then I came back down. My friend Ryan jumped on my back to stop me from be­ing lifted again. The wind picked us both up 10 feet. Upon im­pact, Ryan fell off my back. The kite then lofted me back into the air and looped un­der me, spear­ing me into the ground. The kite was now drag­ging me un­con­sciously across the beach. Ryan quickly grasped hold of the con­trol bar and freed me from the har­ness loop, sav­ing my life. Emer­gency num­ber 911 was called and Life Flight dis­patched.

At the hos­pi­tal, my par­ents were told I had 72 hours to live. I was in a coma. All they could do was pray and wait.

Then, 10 days into the coma, I came back.

I re­mem­ber wak­ing up and look­ing at the room and think­ing, “I’m not in my bed.” My par­ents told me I had suf­fered a trau­matic brain in­jury. The brain spe­cial­ists and doc­tors ex­pected that I would be in a wheel­chair for the rest of my life and be a veg­etable. In my head, I thought, “What­ever ... no way!”

I was now in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and was go­ing through phys­i­cal, oc­cu­pa­tional and speech ther­apy. It was at re­hab that I met a phys­i­cal ther­a­pist named Shane Rosenberg. Shane helped me to start walk­ing again and, more im­por­tantly, al­ways be­lieved in me when I said I would make it back to a full, func­tional life.

I wanted my life back and I was go­ing to do it!

The first step to re­cov­ery I wanted to ac­com­plish was walk­ing with­out as­sis­tance. When I left the hos­pi­tal, I could only walk a few feet un­aided.

Now it was all up to me and I must do it! Then be­gan the life re­cov­ery process.

To read the re­cov­ery story, grab the next is­sue of ServeDaily. To have Dar­ren Say­ers speak live for your event or group, send an email to imust­doit@mail.com.

Phys­i­cal ther­a­pist Shane Rosenberg walks with Springville res­i­dent Dar­ren Say­ers, who ex­pe­ri­enced a trau­matic in­jury while kite­board­ing on Utah Lake.

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