Small steps (literally) mean leaps and bounds to Jason Marshall.
“Taking those first steps was an incredible feeling. And now, looking at the videos from back then, just after the accident, compared to how I’m walking now… wow,” he said Thursday with a grin.
Marshall and his son, Chandler, 15, were in a motorcycle crash on July 10, 2018.
The pair were driving home on a winding stretch of hillside road – with Red Sands Golf Course at the bottom and Clinton View Lodge at the top – when a driver turned left into on-coming traffic leaving Marshall with little time to avoid a collision.
Chandler suffered a broken ankle while Marshall, in addition to a broken leg, had an eight-centimetre gash near his tail bone. It was about 5 ½ cm deep and 2 cm wide. He also had cracked vertebrae and a cracked nose.
The driver was fined for failing to yield to traffic, but the family doesn’t hold a grudge.
“It is what it is and that’s a stupid mistake,” said Marshall.
Seven months later, the accident is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
“They’re certainly back seat drivers now,” said his wife, Jamie Marshall.
“The other day we were driving, and a fella pulled out in front of us and it made us all nervous,” she said.
“I’m a bit jumpy, but also a lot more alert. Always wondering what other people on the road are going to do.”
Chandler chimed in, “The skid marks on the road are finally starting to fade.”
Getting behind the wheel was a big moment for Marshall. And while he is one day hoping to get on a motorcycle, Jamie isn’t so keen.
“It will be a negotiation,” she said.
Either way, the family is thankful to have made positive strides in recovery.
“I’m so glad we have the photos and videos of how he was after the crash. Because when he has a bad day or is in a lot of pain, those videos are a great reminder of how far he’s come.”
Chandler has also gone the distance.
He’s back on the court and on the ice, playing basketball and hockey.
“I did not think I’d be playing sports again this year. I was nervous when I first got back out there. Sometimes when I jump up in a game, I’m worried about how I’m going to come back down.”
Chandler still has nightmares about the accident.
“They’re down to about one a week.”
He said his return to school following the crash was also nerve-wracking.
“There were a lot of questions. A lot of talk about the accident. But people were also really great. They’d help me up and down the stairs, offer other help.”
People in the community also extended acts of kindness to the family.
“Our friends took care of all of the chopping up the winter wood which was great. People came to mow the lawn for us, our family was right by our sides and the community supported us and threw us a benefit. It’s all been a help because Jamie, who manages the Frosty Treats, and I have been off work since the accident,” said Marshall.
“Kindness has been the biggest thing that has contributed to getting us through.”