6 Months After Breaking His Neck, Remy Morton is Back - Video

Feb 23, 2018 at 16:22
by Sarah Moore  
Views: 36,563    Faves: 378    Comments: 18


Remy Morton had a horrific crash during Loosefest at the end of July last year. We caught up with the 19-year-old to check in on his recovery.

Take us back to July, when you say you were having the “Best Day Ever.” What happened?


First of all, I’d like to say a huge thanks to all of the guys involved with running the Fest series. In my opinion, the Fest events are one of the major contributors to pushing the limits of bike riding and what happened to me was just an accident, an unfortunate occurrence. So I hope no one takes this story the wrong way. A huge thank you to Nico Vink for allowing me to have the best few days of riding that I've ever had on a bike. I can't wait to ride with you guys again sometime soon!

It all started when I was riding Chatel Bike Park one day. I met up with Nico Vink and we did a few runs together. At this stage, we didn't really know each other very well, but it was good enough to have the most fun ever riding his new track in the bike park. At lunch, after riding all morning, he asked me if I'd be interested in riding Loosefest... I didn't really know what to say and so I said I'd get back to him! I knew I was keen but wasn't sure if I had the balls to do it. After a few days, I realised I'd be stupid not to as it's something I figured not many get the opportunity to do! Two weeks later I found myself at the jumps, mind blown! I remember the whole week and everything we rode and did up until going off of the lip of the jump I crashed on... I've never ridden anything even close to that much fun and cannot wait to get back and do it again!

Loosefest 2017 Preview - Catching Up With Nico Vink
Nico Vink. Photo by Eric Palmer.

Do you remember the moments before and after the crash at all?


I remember the whole day of my crash and even going off the lip where I remember yelling to myself "This is sickkkkkk!!!" I was loving it! And then I woke up about a month later...

Remy Morton cruising over one of the larger jumps toward the top of the Loosefest 2017 course.
Remy Morton cruising over one of the larger jumps toward the top of the 2017 Loosefest course. Photo by Eric Palmer

What were your first thoughts when you woke up from your three-week coma?


When I woke up I didn't really know I had woke up. For anyone who has been in a coma before they will probably know what I mean by this. I don't actually feel like I was ever asleep. As I was asleep though, I guess I just had the biggest dream ever but even though I was asleep I could still hear and feel things. So when people were visiting me in the hospital I could hear their voices, them touching me etc., which then related to the dreams I was having where I was hanging out with different people.

In my dream, I had broken my arm and continued my trip as it was meant to be. I went to MSA World Cup and spectated, then followed that by going to Crankworx Whistler where I sat out for the first few weeks until I was able to ride again. I then stayed in Whistler for a few months before I went home. When I got home I went for a check-up at the hospital in Brisbane, I woke up in Brisbane hospital with my parents standing around me and thinking everything was normal... The first time I looked at a clock or date was the 23rd of August which marked 1 month and 2 days since my crash, seeing as I crashed in the 21st of July I was mind blown that I had been asleep for 2 full days... and then I realised it was August, not July...

That's when all of the above clicked to me and I realised I wasn't actually in Brisbane and I was still in Europe. Seeing as I was on a lot of drugs, medicine, and still had like 10 tubes and wires hanging all over my body, I got pretty upset and worried as I didn't even know what had happened or where I was...

Remy absolutely bossing the final hit on the monstrous Fest line
Photo by Tom Bowell

Who was with you in those first days and weeks when you woke up from your coma?


I woke up with my parents next to me which was the best feeling in the whole world. Some of the moments in my dream where they must have been working on my body or doing surgery work came across in my dream as people trying to murder me or rape me, and it was like the worst nightmares you could ever imagine as I could still hear some things and feel people touching me. So for me, it's like a full memory and not just like a dream. Seeing them and knowing I was alive and safe was the most amazing feeling I've ever had and I think I pretty much just started crying because, from what I knew, I'd just survived someone trying to murder me and they had saved me.

It kinda makes me laugh now thinking about it but at the time it was hectic!

How long were you in the hospital for in total?


I was in hospital for seven weeks in total, but I wasn't allowed to fly until eight weeks in because of my lung damage as the different air pressures travelling on planes could mess with it. The week I got out of hospital I returned back to the sight of Loosefest where I stayed with the owners of the property that the event is held at "Bike Park Ferme Libert." I can't thank the Thomas family enough for everything they did for both my family and myself. It means a lot guys!

Dirt Art
Photo by Eric Palmer

You say in the video that your goal was to be riding six months after this horrific crash, and yet you had to relearn how to eat, walk, and talk. Why did you think such a quick turnaround would be possible?


I guess at the time I didn't really realise how messed up my body was, and even now I don't think reality has really hit me with how lucky I am to still be alive. But I guess I just wanted to ride, I don't do much besides ride. Everyone always has their sport and their hobbies, my go-to sport is riding, and my hobby is building jumps to ride. My whole life revolves around riding bikes so I didn't really give myself many options, I just got straight into rehab and fixing my body as soon as I was able to semi-function again.

Remy Morton back at his first major event since his huge crash at a Fest event earlier in the year helping out with a course sweep before the finals of the pump track battle.
Photo by Ben Sykes

When were you first able to get back on a bike and what was that first bike ride back like?


This whole time since crashing I set myself little goals. When I was in the hospital, I told myself I would ride a bike the first week of being back home. On the fourth day back, I went to the beach and pedaled my bike along the cycle path. Even though I only lasted about 100 meters before I was completely destroyed, it was probably the best feeling I have ever had. A month later, I went out to our local bike park "Boomerang Farm Bike Park" to watch some friends ride. I thought I'd better take my bike so that I can roll down the mountain after filming them. An hour later I found myself sitting on the back of a shuttle truck with a bunch of smelly dudes doing runs of the jump track haha! I never thought three months in that I would be riding jumps again. Even though I was a full passenger as my right arm was still basically paralyzed, I shocked myself as well as a lot of others. That was when I realised that being back on the bike riding reasonably normal in 6 months time was an achievable goal.

Photo by James Fox

It can be hard to come back from any injury, even injuries that are way less serious than yours. Do you have any pointers for people who are working on overcoming an injury right now or who may have to in the future?


I wish no injuries would ever happen to anyone, but it's just one of the risks of riding and having fun. The most important thing I found was surrounding myself with riders and friends who do what I do. I was at the skatepark most nights sitting in a camp chair watching my mates ride or skate, at the jumps watching my mates dig jumps. Watching my dad shape surfboards in his shed... Whatever it was, even if I wasn't able to do the fun stuff I was still there and in the environment that I like to be in and around. Obviously, opinions and thoughts change on the significance of the injury but in my opinion, pain is usually temporary. I always knew I'd be ok even though there was a big chance I was never going to get my right arm back from its nerve damage, I just kept telling myself everything will be all good and did everything I could to boost the chances of it coming back so at least I knew I had given it my best shot. During an injury, it feels like healing is taking forever and six months of doing not much feels like it's a massive amount of time, but realistically if you take into consideration you live 80-100 years of age, six months is nothing! And when everything is healed it'll just be normal life again, have fun, smile, remember what's important and you'll realise how fortunate you are to just be alive!

Photo by James Fox

What does it mean to you that the GoFundMe your friends set up raised over $20,000?


I had no idea that my friends had set up that page until about two weeks after waking up. It blew my mind. I never thought that so many people would care about me so much, let alone give me money to be able to afford to fix my body so I could see them again. It meant the world to me and it still does. To everyone who donated their money, I hope that one day I can repay you in some way. Whether you donated money or even just sent me "get well" messages, it all means so much and there is no way I would have been able to afford the treatments I did without that help. Much love to you all!!

What are your plans for this season?


My main goal and plan for this season is to get my body back to 100%. Even though I'm riding again my body is nowhere near where it was at this time last year. Time will tell what I am able to do and what events I'll be able to attend. At this stage though I plan to enter all of the Crankworx rounds, maybe a few World Cups, and whatever other events and opportunities pop up in between.

As I said above though. Time will tell!

Remy Morton crushing corners.
Photo by Dave Trumpore

Anything else you’d like to add?


I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone for everything. My sponsors, friends and most importantly my family - the continued support you've all given me means a lot and I can't wait to see everyone again soon!

Thank you Remy!


MENTIONS: @RemyMorton @jamesfox666




91 Comments

  • + 335
 Good on ya Remy for the recovery and I wish you many great days out there.

Came back to skiing last year after an avalanche nearly killed me and broke 17 bones in 2016. Best feeling ever.

My tips:
1) Set a big goal (like Remy did) and do something every day preferably all day to reach it. Then set a bunch of smaller goals which may seem unreasonable. You will be surprised and thrilled when you reach them even if it hurts and is super difficult. Train like you've never trained before.
2) Don't read anything on the internet about your condition. The people that seek advice there are the one's who are not doing as well as you.
3) Read stories of super athletes who came back to their passion and the world stage after horrible injuries...example abound.
4) Realize that you make your destiny and that doctors tell you what is statistically common - you are not common because of point 1.
5) Tell people who share stories of how terrible others with this injury are doing to f*ck off...because point 4.
6) There will be good days and bad days. Use the energy of the good days to get you through the bad. This too will pass.

Good luck.
  • + 29
 Holy shit! I never heard this story about Remy before - that crash was brutal! OMG I’m glad he is back riding.
  • + 8
 Good for you man, thanks for sharing. Next time I hurt myself I'll take a peek back at this
  • + 21
 Oh yeah! And if like me you were an idiot and caused your own calamity, then do everything you can to learn about what you did wrong so that it never happens again and you're not paralyzed by fear then next time you head out.
  • + 13
 It's inspirational messages and stories like these which are helping my rehab to get back on the bike. 6 months out and counting...
  • + 9
 Had a few hard hits and one especially brutal accident with a long coma, lots of broken bones, skull, ribs, hands...etc (hit and run by a car) and that mindset is EXACTLY what people need to tell themselves, Your mind is so much more powerfull than people realize. It's what will get you back on your feet !
Everything with moderation, even moderation itself !
  • + 2
 @nprace those 6 tips are amazing. Thanks!
  • + 4
 Just read WebMD - I have to say there no non sense approach to just about any injury or issue is pretty accurate and helps you gain knowledge if you need to see a doctor. I really don't advise NOT looking up your conditions on the internet - Why? Because only an idiot would see a red flag and pretend it's not there. If you're having issues check yourself out - go talk to someone about your condition - but beyond that it's on you to make yourself stronger and better. The will of the mind and the logic of DEALING with what you have to deal with is where you have to hold strong - no matter the scenario -
  • + 2
 @nprace "There will be good days and bad days. Use the energy of the good days to get you through the bad. This too will pass" that is mental....in every second of your life...
  • + 17
 I never write on forums but I read this and it really helped me today. I am recovering from back surgery that I had yesterday and sitting on the couch feeling so bummed. Totally motivated me to get up and move around. Thank you.
  • + 5
 @nprace thx for sharing that 6 points and I totally agree. Glad you are back skiing. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and the one thing I told myself right from day one was that I wanted bike again. Not reading anything related to it on the internet and just focusing on getting back on my bike and skiing was enough.
  • + 3
 @obpcarpinteria: sorry to hear that - hope you get better soon. From what I experienced the 6 points helped me a lot. Focus on what you want and stick to it. You will get better even thought there are days where everything looks like the complete opposit.

All the best for a speedy recovery.
  • + 1
 point # 2... yeah!!! sometimes, people are used to seeking advice on the internet rather than those who experienced most.
  • + 18
 To watch that riding segment at the end after the crash is simply incredible. That’s what “free” riding looks like. That’s art on a bike, shaping runs like that with so much control. You can tell this man is elated to have his brushes back and will be at the canvas making up for that lost time. Live fast, die last, classic. Cheers Remy!
  • + 14
 yeah just gonna one-hand-land this toboggan before i scrub into this massive step up, nbd
  • + 2
 Did his fork snap on landing?
  • + 6
 @Helm72: I want to say you're right - not that it snapped but looks like it just exploded from the stanchions - crazy burst of oils you can see on impact - dudes a beast - hell of a story and so interesting that this young man was able to recount the coma and clearly remember is truly amazing. God's got his back on that one for sure.
  • + 9
 I’m seeing a lot of ‘mind over matter’ comments which can be great. Still it’s ever fascinating that the human spirit can be at once unflinchingly indomitable while the body is so fragile. This story and subsequent comments are amazing - ‘yay, you got back on the horse! You didn’t give up! Mind over matter! Don’t listen to the naysayers!’

But the reality is this - this kid (I can say that because I’m twice his age) came all-to-close to complete paralysis, an outcome completely beyond his control. In which case, the comment section would have read much more like a condolence survey.

I ‘feel’ like the Leatte awareness campaign is well over. Many were warned, some heeded, and time marched on while the cycle repeats itself.

Bottom line - Mountain biking is risky. Really risky. You can break your neck and be completely paralyzed forever. No amount of ‘mind over matter’ platitudes will change your situation if your injury is severe enough. Just know that. And if you’re young and immortal, REALLY know it. Us old guys have a duty to tell you about the risks. We’ve been warned. You’re kids. Your talents are something we’ve dreamt about but it’s you that pay the price if your injury goes to far and in the world of spinal injuries, there is a line that is too far where you’ll be completely dependent upon medical advancements that don’t yet exist to not only get you back on your bike, but allow you to do 90+% of the things you did before you ‘sent it’, on your own.
  • + 7
 Man while I didn't even get close to what Remy did, he's so right you've gotta be super positive and want to get back on the bike. I snapped an Achilles in late 2014, then snapped a wrist and four vertebrate in mid 2016. Both taking me off the bike for 4 or more months.

But both times I was super positive and dying to get back to riding. Both times I was riding in a cast/moon boot I was so keen to do so.

So if anyone is struggling, fire up, remain positive and you'll hopefully be back sooner than you think!
  • + 5
 Me and my little son watched it happen, we were standing opposite the landing - and we are sooo glad and happy that you are riding again! We have been following your recovery as much as posdible, and you are truly an inspiration, not only for a 7 year-old little ripper who one day wants to go big but for me as well. Hope to see you at Loose Fest in July, Remy, and I'd love to get you a beer.
  • + 5
 Listen up. Our subconscious minds are more capable than we think at getting things done. Long story short, if he made the goal to ride again in say, 2 years... He would still be in the hospital. Instead he says 6 months and his subconscious went to work to fix him up. So happy for this dude. Calculated risk yall
  • + 8
 What a comeback ! Legend...! Please be « careful » on the next loose fest edition .. Big Grin Beer
  • + 4
 I shattered my right wrist and broke a bunch of ribs in a crash last year, was so devo just sitting on the couch...no money coming in and couldnt even ride the spin bike because of my ribs.
This being my third broken wrist in about 16month had me thinking id have to sell my bike...
Then the Madeira on track episode came out where Curtis Keene breaks his collarbone and then starts his recovery, it helped me see that one step at a time and ill get there and that this kinda shit happens to everyone (maybe not as intense as old mate here) but i definitely saw the light at the end of the tunnel after watching that episode.
  • + 4
 How’s he still alive?! Broken neck, sternum, ribs, both lungs collapsed, coma, kidney, broken hip, dislocated hip, broken collarbone, shoulder, and a few other things. Just a few other things.
  • + 6
 Wow amazing recovery. I didn’t even touch my bike for almost a year after breaking my back.
  • + 2
 Fvck, dude, I'm all teary and I don't give a fvck what the internet thinks about that. As a casual observer, I didn't realize the extent of his injuries. His insights into the coma experience are fascinating. Stay Posi Remy and enjoy the ride!!!!
  • + 1
 Impressive to stay so positive after such an ordeal. Even more impressive to achieve such an ambitious goal of being back in the saddle after that laundry list of injuries, any one of which would have most of us out for longer. But I'm absolutely beyond impressed and in awe that he boosted so big that he flew past the transition on what were built to be some of the biggest, scariest and longest jumps in the sport. I can't imagine any of the trail builders ever wondered, "Hey, maybe we should make these bigger, just in case?" Big respect and best wishes.
  • + 1
 What an amazing person! So much courage, and heart. We could learn something from Remy! That got me more stoked to be a mountain biker then any other video I've ever watched. Thank you for the reminder. Ride or die brother!
  • + 3
 Crazy comeback. That Hoodoo Gurus song in the video brought back some late 80's memories for me - I knew I had heard it before but so long ago I couldn't place it.
  • + 1
 Incredible story and pleased to have had it shared with us. The fact you can ride like that at all let alone 6 months after such a brutal crash is unreal! Really puts things into perspective and the description of your senses whilst in a coma was particularly chilling. Id always assumed it was a long dark sleep but clearly not! Ride safe, don't push yourself too much, have fun and keep shredding!
  • + 4
 Good to hear he's almost all good again!
  • + 1
 This story is absolutely fantastic! Way to go Remy, so pumped you've come so far and I have no doubt you'll be back stronger than ever with that great attitude you have......rock on dude!
  • + 2
 Remy you are an absolute legend best of luck in the rest of your recovery and I can't wait to see you competing again soon. Minor setback for a Major comeback!
  • + 1
 About 2 1/2 years since I destroyed my left lower leg/ankle and still barely able to bunny hop let alone pedal while standing...

Thanks for me making me feel useless. /sarcasm

Good on ya for getting right back at it!
  • + 2
 Wow I broke my ankle two weeks ago and this really puts it in perspective. There is nothing I should be complaining about! Thanks Remy and huge respect!
  • + 1
 wow, congratulations on such a successful recovery Remy, may you never have to suffer anything like that ever again. Oh, and nicest riding I've seen in a while too. Hoodoo Gurus? Perfect.
  • + 3
 glad he's alright but he still whips better than me and he was in a fucking coma
  • + 3
 I want some of what the hospital gave you. And @nprace is on point. Scary shit though.
  • + 4
 F*ck man that was intense. All the best!
  • + 1
 I have watched that touch down far too many times but I still can’t figure out if that is internal commentary or someone else’s accurate summing up of the situation. Incredible story...
  • + 4
 Good to see you back remy!
  • + 4
 Massive respect mate Smile
  • + 3
 Down, not dead! Such an inspiring story!
  • + 3
 Insane Remy. Good to see you slinging it sideways once again
  • + 1
 Wow... thank you for sharing your story. Everyone gets injured at some point, and this is a positive reminder of how to overcome it with a plan.
  • + 1
 Remy this is amazing! I'm sure you still feel a bit rusty but that riding was so tight! What a comeback! So good to see you doing so well!
  • + 2
 Sick to see someone put in the work and get the rewards after such a brutal stack!
  • + 2
 Ah man that’s great to see, guess the one hander means the arms doing good!
  • + 1
 Very inspiring to see him shredding like a boss, im recovering from a mcl injury right now and this is great to see. Keep on doing what your doing Remy
  • + 1
 Wow that’s some hardcore stuff! Great to see Remy back in action! The guys got some serious PMA
  • + 1
 What a legend Resurrected in 6 months and came back killing it Im proud of u dude
  • + 1
 That laundry list though... Would have been faster to list the things that didn't break.
  • + 2
 What a legend...Crazy fucking story about his coma!
  • + 1
 Good to hear the hospital bit...never heard this before, about hearing and feeling what's going on. Took me three years to remember what happened during/after my crash...only a concussion, but still...made me feel sick to my stomach trying to remember.
  • + 2
 Steezier than ever...LEGEND!
  • + 2
 Remy is back ! YEAH, so good to hear that !
  • + 1
 Absolute Maddog you are Remy! Top work to come back from a crash like that!!
  • + 2
 Absolutely heinous crash. Stoked to see him back up after that!
  • + 1
 That was probably the sickest edit so far this year, not even considering the injury
  • + 3
 Good to see you back!
  • + 2
 F@ck that's inspirational!
  • + 2
 Fucking hell. Nice video and cheers for you remy
  • + 1
 Yes Remy! Great to meet you at the Christmas jam out at Boomerang! Good luck with 2018 bud. Cookie.
  • + 3
 Hero.
  • + 0
 Man, I wish I could be as stoked and committed as Remy, I had a cold last week and I thought I might never recover. Glad your back man, inspiring story for sure.
  • + 1
 Remy is so much fun to watch ride, a beast on bike with Style..You rock Remy..
  • + 1
 You're a fuckin' legend Remy
  • + 1
 Helluva positive attitude, love it!
  • + 1
 HELL YESS REMY!!!!! SO STOKED FOR YOU!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Anybody know what bike park this video is filmed in?
  • + 1
 I guess it was Queenstown new zealand Skyline n surounds
  • + 2
 100% Skyline Queenstown - NZ.
  • + 1
 Jesus, those coma nightmare comments are heavy.
  • + 1
 what a wild animal! stay healthy dude!
  • + 2
 welcome back, have fun
  • + 2
 Красавчик!!!
  • + 2
 RAD A F!
  • + 1
 Watching this guy ride makes me f@$&ing happy!
  • + 1
 You are one lucky man! Kudos for your comeback!
  • + 1
 The Ozzy Terminator! #illbeback
  • + 1
 One more thing......that riding was beautiful to watch
  • + 1
 Enjoy the rest of it ,now go get those jumps and berms
  • + 1
 Thats one crash i wish i never seen, massive respect,
  • + 1
 YEAH MADDAWG!
  • + 1
 Stoked for the guy !
  • + 1
 Incredible!!
  • + 1
 Boss!
  • + 1
 Good man!
  • + 1
 sickcant!
  • + 1
 Legend!!!!
  • + 1
 SAVAGE

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv14 0.046716
Mobile Version of Website