The general consensus is that last Nov. 30, 17-year-old Brody Sidoryk cheated the Grim Reaper.
That night, Sidoryk, a Grade 12 setter for the Rossburn Raiders high school volleyball team, was driving home from a friend's house. "It was snowing," he recalled. "I had no idea of how slippery it was, and I hit the ditch, and then a hydro pole. The wire came across and touched my cheek."
Although he doesn't recall everything that occurred after the accident, Sidoryk does know that he walked two or three miles to the first house he came to, and shortly after that, his parents rushed him to the hospital in Shoal Lake. "They (the hospital and his parents) didn't even know I had been electrocuted," he said. "They thought it was frostbite, so they sent me to Winnipeg (HSC) and they discovered it was electrical."
Sidoryk suffered burns to his face, neck, chest and legs. "Most of my injuries were inside," he said. "It broke down my muscle mass. I was in intensive care for two weeks, and in the hospital for three months, where they performed several surgeries and had me do physio."
Last December, he underwent 18 hours of surgery to correct damage done to his mouth. "It burned off my lip," he said. "They took muscle from my leg and made a new lip."
Despite the fact he still has a way to go before he is completely recovered, he is back with his volleyball team. "It wasn't too bad (going back). I couldn't play games in the beginning, and I still get tired, but I'm into the games now. It's still hard sometimes, but I do the best I can."
Over the weekend, at their annual tournament, Sidoryk and his Raiders lost in the final to rival Minnedosa, 2-1 in games.
"He's not like most kids," said his coach Cory Chuchmuch, who is also a family friend. "He's more mature than most kids his age. I've never seen him feel sorry for himself. All he does is work hard. When he feels he can't do something, he'll take a break, and when he's ready he'll come back in. He would have been a starter, but he couldn't move all that well at the beginning. He worked and worked. His movement is limited, but he still has good hands and can get the job done."
Also a player on the Hamiota Collegiate hockey team (Rossburn is too small to have a team of its own), Sidoryk is beginning to skate again. "Sports gives me more motivation to get better. Physio helps, but sports is the motivation," he said.
His volleyball and hockey teammates are fully supportive. "They treat me like I am just another player," he said. "They also cover for me a lot, when I can't get to the ball, and my hockey team put my number on all their helmets."
"He's a very determined boy," said his father Brian. "When he sets his mind to something, he usually succeeds. There were a few times that things were pretty tough, but I think he will be able to play hockey again."
Sidoryk's long road to full recovery is not over. He still needs more surgery. In fact, he goes under the knife again at the end of December. "It's more cosmetic than anything," he said, adding he was very lucky. "The doctor said I was pretty close to being dead. Not many kids survive electrical burns. Someone up above was looking after me."