Ottawa man who broke his neck in January fulfills goal of walking again

If you've ever questioned the power of positive thinking, you need to meet Troy Kraus.  The Ottawa man fell on ice in January and broke his neck in four places.  From the beginning, he was determined to walk out of the Ottawa Rehab Centre and he accomplished that today.

Troy Kraus is the first to admit that the stars were aligned that fateful day he fell; a quick thinking neighbor who called 911, the surgeons who were able to operate on him within 2 hours of his falling. 

Still, you have to admire his grit and determination to re-shuffle the hand he was dealt.

“It’s happened.  I’m going to fix it and I’m going to move on,” Kraus told CTV Ottawa in February of this year, less than a month after a simple slip on an icy driveway changed his life for a second time.

The 46-year-old network engineer had already undergone a dramatic change; he had lost more than 200 pounds after gastric bypass surgery and was in the best shape ever until that fall broke his neck in four places.   He couldn't even move a finger. 

Today, just four months later, he's able to shake the reporter’s hand.

“That’s something I couldn't do before,” he says, “When I first came here, I couldn't move a thing, not even a finger.”

The transformation has been remarkable, thanks to the surgeons who operated on him and the staff at the Ottawa Rehab Centre who worked with him.

But even they admit Troy Kraus has a force of will to be reckoned with.

“If you just want to sit back and wait for things to happen, they're not going to happen,” says Derrick Cann, a registered practical nurse at the Rehab Centre, “but when you put everything into it, what you put into it, you'll get back.” 

And Troy wants it all back: his job as a network engineer, his independence, and especially his ability to walk.

“I’ve never had a dark cloud over my head, never felt sorry for myself,” he says, “That's not the way I do things.”

“The road has been long, it's been difficult,” says his mother, Fran Kraus, “I don't know what's ahead of him, he still has a long way to go but I know he'll do what he says he will.”

And so today, after 5 months, Troy is ready to take that next step forward

“I set a bar high for myself.  If you don't make it, that's okay as long as you give it as much effort as you can to get there,” he says.

    Moments later, he hauls himself slowly out of his wheelchair and, with the help of a walker, walks out of the Rehab Centre; the determination etched on his face.

“But if you reach it, you have to set a new goal,” Kraus says, “you just don't become complacent, you keep moving forward.”

Troy has lost a lot more weight since he's been at the Rehab Centre; a total now of 254 pounds since his gastric bypass surgery.  His first stop today was the grocery store to stock up on something other than hospital food. Troy will move in with his brother and sister-in-law who have converted a basement suite to accommodate him, with the help of funds raised through a GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/TeamTroy2017