ERIC PAYNE’S STORY
How Eric Payne found inspiration after amputation
Eric Payne says life “has not been the same” since one of his legs was amputated following a motorcycle accident involving him and the 12-year-old son of his friend Michael Tops.
The accident meant
Payne’s 23-year military career was over and was a
“dark time” for him.
“There’s an adjustment period that goes on. I don’t want to say it ruined everything and that my life sucked, but it was hard crawling out of that,” he says.
Payne says he’s since “rebounded” and now presents as a motivational speaker through the Soldier On program, aimed at helping Canadian veterans adapt to and live with permanent physical and mental health injuries.
Payne says he’s learned resilience plays a vital role in the recovery of anyone affected by injury, whether as a result of a car accident or otherwise.
“My resilience has helped me face a world that is now totally different for me,” he says.
Payne recalls marking the 10th anniversary with the Tops family in Coldbrook as ‘a special moment’. His experience now “serves as inspiration when I talk to others about what it’s like to be resilient.”
Tops says the two have remained close since the accident, and that regardless of what caused it, placing blame was never a priority.