Metal drum­mer re­cov­ers from 2015 bus crash

The Detroit News - - Metro - BY RACHEL GRECO Lans­ing State Jour­nal

Holt — It’s a Satur­day morn­ing in June, and the sound of loud, rhyth­mic drum­ming echoes off the base­ment walls of Andrew Tkaczyk’s house in Holt.

Tkaczyk, 30, nods his head to the beat, keep­ing time as his arms, one of which is cov­ered in tat­toos, move, sticks in hand, from the cym­bals to the drums. His right leg ends at the knee, his thigh rest­ing on a pad that quickly moves with it, up and down, keep­ing time with the beat he’s set­ting.

Tkaczyk’s at home in his new digs af­ter spend­ing just over two years at his par­ent’s house in Char­lotte, where he ad­justed to life as an am­putee and worked to re­cover from mul­ti­ple bone frac­tures and myr­iad other in­juries.

A hor­rific col­li­sion be­tween his band’s tour bus and a semi out­side El Paso, Texas in Novem­ber 2015 left Tkaczyk’s body bro­ken. In the af­ter­math, his and his band­mates’ mu­sic ca­reers with glob­al­ly­known metal core band The Ghost In­side have been in limbo.

The driv­ers of both ve­hi­cles were killed in the crash. Four mem­bers of The Ghost In­side sus­tained in­juries.

Tkaczyk lost his right leg from the knee down. He spent more than a year heal­ing from rib and hip frac­tures, mul­ti­ple ver­te­brae frac­tures and a mi­nor head in­jury, as well as a torn ro­ta­tor cuff and dam­aged lig­a­ments and nerves in his right shoul­der and right hand.

Tkaczyk’s re­turn to drum­ming, and the re­union of The Ghost In­side in April, wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble with­out the help of a de­vice that his dad, Larry Tkaczyk, cre­ated that’s al­lowed him to play per­cus­sion with­out wear­ing his pros­thetic.

The three-foot high, 20-pound cre­ation con­nects a raised lever to the per­cus­sion set’s drum pedal via a bar con­nect­ing them. With it Tkaczyk uses his right thigh with­out the pros­thetic to keep the beat while he plays.

In true metal fash­ion, it’s called “the ham­mer.”

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