A young Melbourne survivor of stroke who nearly lost his life while on a solo charity trike ride across Australia has overcome major challenges to make a mighty comeback.
In November last year, 29-year-old Tommy Quick was 3,638 kilometres into his mammoth 9,000 kilometre 4 Points ride to the four extreme points of Australia’s mainland when he was hit by a car in South Australia.
“My injuries were severe, and the recovery hasn’t been easy. Broken bones hurt like hell, but unlike the brain they are faster to heal,” Tommy said. “My parents saw the whole crash unfold, Mum actually thought I was dead, it was very confronting for them.”
After more than a year out of the saddle, and months of grueling rehab to repair a shattered pelvis, displaced sacrum and broken leg, Tommy is getting back on the recumbent bike and resumed his epic pedaling challenge on Sunday December 4.
“It’s been a tough year for me, both mentally and physically, however I’m back better and more determined than ever to get somewhere.”
Tommy will travel the remaining 5,500 kilometres of his ride with the aim of raising $1million for the Stroke Foundation and to spread awareness of the impact of stroke on young people.
He had a lifechanging stroke when he was just 12 years old which has impacted him physically and affected his communication, but it hasn’t stopped him from achieving great things.
“I’m really passionate about social inclusion and I plan on breaking down some common misconceptions about disability. I want people to know that stroke can happen to anyone, at any time. I plan on stopping along the way and speaking with anyone who will listen.”
Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Sharon McGowan, has applauded Tommy’s resilience.
“Tommy’s determination and perseverance is to be commended. He has overcome huge challenges in his life but it hasn’t stopped him from making huge achievements.”
Ms McGowan says Tommy’s challenge will go a long way in educating Australians about stroke, particularly young stroke.
“Tommy is doing a great job in addressing the misconception that stroke only impacts older Australians. Evidence shows that while the overall incidence of stroke in Australia has been declining, stroke incidence rates in young people of working age have been increasing over time.”
There are 123,977 Australians of working age (aged 18–64) living with the impact of stroke.
“I implore Australians of all ages to know the F.A.S.T acronym because stroke can strike at any age, at any time so it’s important to be able to recognise a stroke and know to call an ambulance immediately. ”