WHOOPS! Downhill mountain bike rider Liam Paiaro ... three broken vertebrae
Evolution in action!
Crash hasnít stunted extreme biking passion
18th May 2013 10:06 AM
LUCKY BREAK: Downhill mountain bike rider Liam Paiaro stands beside his bike while recovering from three broken vertebrae. Supplied
A MOUNTAIN biking crash almost cost former Toowoomba rider Liam Paiaro his ability to walk.
But instead of shying away from the adrenaline-raising pursuit, the 22-year-old is already talking of his next downhill dash.
Mr Paiaro landed head first after misjudging a 20-metre jump at Toowoomba's Jubilee Park mountain bike track last Sunday.
The impact fractured the T4, T5 and T7 vertebra in his back, but was not enough to sever his spinal cord.
"As soon as I was in the air I knew I was gone," the former Downlands College student said.
"I don't remember the impact on the ground.
"I was apparently on the ground convulsing."
He had some relief prior to being winched from the steep terrain into the RACQ CareFlight helicopter because he could feel his feet.
After landing at Toowoomba Hospital, he spent the next 24 hours in the same position on his back.
Staff also tended to his broken left hand.
Mr Paiaro was walking around out of hospital by Tuesday morning.
"I'm pretty lucky."
The desire to hurtle down steep hills has not left Mr Paiaro.
"I've ridden that track 100 times.
"The adrenaline is awesome and you get a good group of mates out of it. Toowoomba is the best legalised track in south-east Queensland. They've done a very good job there."
Toowoomba Mountain Bike Club president Ryan Myler said his club had grown from 37 members in April last year to 120 members.
He said there were good safety protocols in place on race days in case of crashes such as Mr Paiaro's.
"The reality is the guys sign up for it," Mr Myler said.
"They accept the risk because they love doing what they do."
He was grateful for CareFlight's efforts and has donated $500 from the club, with a view to making ongoing contributions.
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