A 23-year-old police constable from San Fernando, who lost his left leg in a motorcycle crash in late March, is eager to get back behind the handles of a motorcycle.
Speaking with reporters before he was presented with a wheelchair by businessman Paul-Daniel Nahous at the Police Administration Building in Port-of-Spain, yesterday morning, PC Shane Smith said he is already on the road to returning to his hobby as he had some success when attempted to ride a friend's bike over the weekend.
He explained that motorcycle riders would normally change gears with their ankles, but he would have to now have to learn to use his entire leg when he gets his prosthetic limb.
"I would make it comfortable enough for me to do it," a determined Smith said confidently.
Questioned over how he was affected by the accident on March 26, Smith claimed that the injury did not trouble him much as he had mentally accepted that he would lose his leg since he was taken to hospital.
"From that day, I accepted losing a limb. I was just joyful to be alive," Smith said.
However, the father of two admitted that he has faced some challenges as he attempted to return to his normal life.
"When you get up like a normal person with all your limbs, you may just jump off your bed and start with your daily routine. Now it is different for me, when I get up I have to pick up my crutches and try to move around," he said.
Smith said his faith in God, his wife and children were instrumental in helping him cope.
" I think the lord does have the hardest battles for the strongest soldiers. This is just one of them," he said.
Asked about his love of motorcycles, Smith said he wanted to be a motorcycle-riding police officer since he was a child and saw one speed past his family's car along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway.
Ironically, the location of Smith's vivid childhood memory is a relatively short distance away from where his accident occurred near to the Aranguez flyover.
"If I am on the road, and I see a motorcycle I am like a child, breaking my neck and turning around," Smith said with a playful grin.
Smith noted that his wife gave birth to their second child hours after the accident and at the Eric Williams Medical Science Centre, where he was treated.
"When she came, she was already in labour. All we did is pray quickly and she said she was giving my son the name Mercy, due to the fact that I still had life," Smith said.
Smith saw his son for the first time when he was eventually discharged from the hospital.
Questioned over whether he got to spoke to Kevon Neptune, the 31-year-old driver from Couva, who rendered assistance to Smith and received a commendation from Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, earlier this week, Smith said that they remain in close contact.
"I am most thankful for what he did for me. That is not something you see on a regular basis. If it was not for him, I may not be sitting here today," Smith said.
While Smith admitted that he may never officially ride a motorcycle as a police officer ever again, he said that he hoped that he would be able to recover sufficiently to return to the field duty and not be relegated to a desk position.
"That is not for me," he said.