AJ Venter

'Suicidal thoughts went through my mind'

Alwyn Uys' rugby dreams were shattered when a car accident in 2014 left him paralysed from the waist down. He chatted with AJ VENTER about the immediate aftermath.

Uys, who had attended the Sharks Academy and represented Maties, recovered beyond expectations and a positive outlook on life has helped the 28-year-old to become a successful para-cyclist.

At first, though, he struggled to deal with what had happened to him.

ALSO READ: Alwyn on the accident

'After the accident, there was a time it just got to me, it was just too much. I actually thought about committing suicide. I wouldn’t say actively commit suicide but thoughts like that went through my mind.  

'Just thinking, "How could this happen to me? How could this possibly be my life at this stage?

'There were moments where I thought, "I can’t handle this anymore, it’s all too much". 

'Then there was a realisation that you write your own story. I could have given up there, but what are my options really?

'Am I just going to sit in my room the whole time and that’s my life? Then everyone is just going to remember me like that – being from a small town, a decent rugby player, then the accident happened and that's it. The story just ends right there. 

'That got to me ... How could it just end there? I still have big dreams.  

'Obviously, they have changed but at that stage, you’re 24, you have big dreams, things you want to do and ambitions, and that gets stripped away from you. 

'That’s heartbreaking and I just couldn’t deal with that, I couldn’t allow that to happen. That was a pivotal moment for me.

'I also realised that I had actually lost everything and had nothing left to lose. 

'I thought, "You are already at rock bottom and that’s a great place to start building again on a solid foundation. All the pride, fluff and status is gone.'

– Watch AJ's full conversation with Alwyn below. Subscribe to AJ's YouTube channel and like his Facebook page.