Not even a broken back could keep Max Devery off his surfboard.
After surviving a life-threatening spinal cord injury, the 16-year-old from Perth is back riding waves and competing in surf competitions around Australia.
“I broke my T7 and dislodged other vertebrae, collapsed both of my lungs, broke five ribs and had three chest drains,” Max said.
Despite the obstacles and extensive rehabilitation process he faced, Max was back surfing with his mates and competing in the Australia Para Surfing Champions within 12 months of his accident.
“There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t be able to do anything again, but the thing I wanted the most, was to be able to surf,” Max said.
With the help of his custom-built surfboard and sheer determination, he made it happen.
“I love being able to surf with all my mates again and being around them in the water, catching waves and having fun.
“My goal is to win a national title next year,” Max added.
A recipient of the Australian Government’s Local Para Champions (LPC) program, Max is one of many young para-athletes who have received a grant to support their participation in a sporting championship.
“The grant has helped us out a lot and covered some of the costs of our accommodation and meals during the championships in Port Macquarie,” Max said.
The LPC program provides financial assistance for coaches, officials and competitors aged 12 to 24 years, who participate in state, national or international championships for athletes with a disability. Successful applicants receive between $750 and $1000 toward the cost of attending their championships.
For more information on the LPC program, visit the ASC website.