A teenager has vowed to walk again despite breaking his back and being left paralysed after plummeting 40ft to the ground in a horror dirtbike crash.
X-ray pics show that A-level student Noah Cosby broke his back in two places after overshooting a landing while practising with pals on dirt ramps.
The 16-year-old was at his grandparents’ farm near Tring, Hertfordshire, when he landed awkwardly on his dirtbike on March 7 this year.
Noah was rushed to hospital where doctors said he was paralysed from the chest down due to his back being broken.
The brave teenager underwent a six-hour emergency spinal op to stabilise his T6 and T7 vertebrae using two titanium rods and nine screws.
His devastated family were told Noah, who loves biking, skateboarding and playing the guitar, was paralysed from the chest down.
Despite the bleak prognosis, strong-willed Noah, a student at prestigious public school Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, is determined to walk again.
His family, including creative director dad Ben Cosby, 45, are now fundraising for private full-time physio in a bid to make that happen.
Ben, from Bierton, Buckinghamshire, said: “It’s been a hellish couple of months.
“We bought him his first motorbike when he was five and he’s ridden ever since then.
“There’s a discipline called FMX, it involves massive jumps and flips on a bike and that’s what he does, and that’s what he wants to do when he finishes school, he wants to pursue a career in that.
“The average jump is 75ft long and about 30-40 ft up in the air.
“On some tricks you completely let go of the bike, so essentially it’s like flying. It’s this freedom and it feels like time stops when he’s up there.
“It’s the freedom that his bike gives him that draws him to it so much.
“He was training on my parents’ farm, that’s where he has his ramps set up. It was an amazing day, he was due to go back to school after the end of lockdown and wanted to ride before he went back.
“Unfortunately he hit the ramp too fast and missed the landing. He lands on an enormous pile of soil , like a ramp, and he just sailed over the top of it and landed on the flat field.
“It’s the equivalent of riding a bike out of a three-storey window and landing flat on a car park.
“Normally he’d land on a slope but he missed the landing and landed flat – so all the force went through his bike and then up into his body and broke his back.”
Noah was enjoying one last freestyle motocross training session on the Sunday before heading back to school as a full-time boarder, when the tragic accident happened.
The teen, who harbours ambitions of having a career in the FMX biking world, was riding on his ‘beloved’ bike when he mis-judged his landing and sailed over the ramp and plummeted to the ground.
Noah was rushed to hospital and spent six weeks at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, before being transferred to the spinal rehab unit at Stoke Mandeville in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire where he’s receiving physiotherapy.
Ben, along with kinesiologist wife Candy Cosby, 47, and 11-year-old son Roka Cosby, are now doing everything they can to fund pricey private physio treatment including hydrotherapy, robotic stimulation and other intense treatment.
Ben said: “The hospital is able to offer three hours physio a week, but we’ve been told someone in Noah’s condition needs five-six hours a day.
“Once we’re discharged from here, we don’t know when that will be, everything we do for Noah will have to be private.
“People in Noah’s condition need robotic exoskeletons, specialised treadmills, walking machines, the whole works, not something a physio can just come to your house and provide.
“We met a guy who had a spinal cord injury, he had very good private medical insurance and his medical bill for rehabilitation came to half a million pounds.
“When we did the GoFundMe page , that’s such a lot of money I just didn’t want to put something that was so out of reach.
“We’ve researched courses [of treatment] there’s an amazing hospital in Chicago but that’s $4,000 a day, doing the research we could see that it’s going to cost serious money.
“We put £100,000 thinking ‘maybe we’ll get there one day’ and within 24 hours we were half way.
“The donations from people are overwhelming, kids are even sending in their pocket money.
“It just restores your faith in humanity.”
Despite the devastating diagnosis, Noah has a positive outlook on things – something staff have commented on – and is looking forward to life outside the hospital ward.
Ben said: “Noah never lost consciousness throughout the entire agonising ordeal.
“‘I’ll be alright Dad, I’ll be alright, I just need time to fix myself’. I’ll never forget those words as he lay there, holding our hands.
“There was no blame, no anger, no excuses from Noah, just hope and positivity.
“Since this has all happened I’ve spoken to lots of doctors and nurses and they’ve all been blown away by Noah’s positivity.
“They say often teenage boys play the blame game but Noah categorically never does.”
The GoFundMe page reads: “Noah’s mindset tells him that he will walk again, but to give him a real shot at that, we need more of everything. He needs full time physio, not just the three hours a week that is available at Stoke Mandeville.
“He needs hydrotherapy. He needs robotic stimulation. He needs options and therapies that are only available through the private sector, all of which come with a hefty price tag.
“Many of you reading this will already know Noah but hopefully a great deal of you will only just be learning about him. Noah is possibly the most driven, level-headed 16 year old I know. He’s hugely passionate about the things he loves. Skateboarding, riding his dirt bike and playing guitar.
“Noah learnt to walk at nine months old and since then he has always been at one with his body while pushing the boundaries of what he’s capable of achieving.
“We bought him his first skateboard at the age of four, and since then there’s barely been a day he hasn’t skated.
“Dirt bikes followed shortly afterwards at five and just last year he announced that he wanted to pursue a career in freestyle motocross (FMX).
“In a nutshell, Noah is always active. His biggest loathing is to be stuck indoors.
“His life now has become that of a caged bird with clipped wings. Please, if you can, help us free our beautiful boy.”