Ashley Hyra is an 18 year old who attends the University of Manitoba — and she is awesome.
Ashley is taking introductory courses right now and is leaning towards going into physical therapy, which isn’t too surprising, given her experiences of the past eight months.
On June 19 last year, Ashley went roller-blading after work and went to skate through a puddle. Next thing she knew, her legs had come out from underneath her and she landed on her tailbone.
Ashley was instantly paralyzed.
"Someone drove past me and called for an ambulance. I was taken to the Health Science Centre and was eventually informed that I had a compression fracture to my 12th thoracic vertebrae and it fragmented into my spinal column. I would have been a paraplegic with a very low chance of recovery," Ashley said.
The next day, Ashley underwent radical surgery to repair the spinal damage and to give her a chance to walk again. She had bone fused together and two titanium rods with eight screws were implanted in her back.
Remember... Ashley Hyra is awesome.
In September, Ashley started her rehab with Jeff Fisher at Elite Performance with the goal of possibly walking the half marathon with her mom in June.
After a couple of weeks of training, Jeff came up to Ashley and said:
"You know your goal? Well, you’re not walking — you’re running."
A month later that revised goal was moved to running the first half and walking the second half of the full marathon.
Ashley is feeling really good and has kicked her rehab/training into high gear.
"Now I’m at Elite five or six times a week for two hours a day."
Doctors had told Ashley that she would likely be 100% after a year of rehab and training.
"Because of Jeff, I’m at 150% after eight months," she said.
Ashley is very thankful for her family and friends.
"Having a positive and supportive family and group of friends around me was an amazing part of my recovery."
Ashley is known for her energy, dedication, and positive perspective.
"Always remember that you may not be where you want to be right now but you’re doing better than you were yesterday."
Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood is co-host of The Big Show, every weekday morning from 6 to 10 a.m. on TSN 1290 radio. He writes about Winnipeg’s unsung sports heroes every other week in the Canstar Community News weeklies.