Wednesday 2nd October 2019 started out like any other day, until 16-year-old Alex (AJ) Richter’s life changed forever.
Training for the national mountain bike race in Maydena, Tasmania, AJ was riding the Hornsby Mountain Bike Trail with his friends like he had done so many times before. He was experienced and had all the protective gear. However, a freak accident threw him from his bike.
Thanks to his friends who instinctively called the ambulance and looked after him, he was rushed to Royal North Shore hospital for emergency surgery to repair his fractured C5 vertebrae and stabilise his spinal cord.
AJ spent the next 7 weeks in Intensive Care battling a collapsed lung, ventilated and eventually learning to breathe again.
Just before Christmas 2019, AJ’s determination had him gingerly pushing himself in a manual wheelchair and by January 2020, he had been moved into Royal Rehab at Ryde.
The injury has caused paralysis below the chest, but he has managed to regain some movement in his shoulders, elbows and wrists. AJ may never walk again however he and his family will never give up hope.
AJ has amazing dignity and strength. He works hard on his rehabilitation every day and is always staying positive. AJ hopes to continue studying his HSC and is aiming to complete some subjects with his cohort in 2020.
Ride With Richter Foundation is an extension of the original fundraising event Ride For Richter where AJ’s school community came together to raise funds. The Foundation has now grown to include multiple events over the next few months and years to help raise the funds needed to allow AJ to live his best life.
To discover more about the various items that the Foundation is raising funds for, click here. Or read further about AJ’s story in an article published by the Sydney Morning Herald on 6 September 2020.
AJ and his family have been overwhelmed by the love and support their family, friends and community has shown them.
Your support drives him to one day ride again.