On the 5th February 1994 Steve was on a boat doing some last minute work before heading home for the weekend. Unknown to him there was a whole tank of fuel right underneath him. The sparks from his grinder hit the fuel and exploded.
Steve was thrown 15 metres into the air then landed back on the remains of the boat.
The explosion was so hot it had melted the paint off cars parked nearby. The sonic blast was so loud it was reported by a neighbour that it cracked a driveway some kilometres away.
Steve should have died.
Steve’s medical files are over 10 centimetres thick detailing the damage to his body. One thing these files don’t contain is Steve’s personal journey of determination to never give up.
A number of months after the explosion Steve remembers lying in his hospital bed looking at a surfing magazine and almost crying at the pictures.
Can you imagine what you would do if someone took away your ability to do the thing you love most? You see, Steve loves to surf, but the blast from the boat left his body broken and doctors warned him that he may not be able to walk again. Let alone surf again.
But Steve wasn’t about to take it lying down. After months of rehab Steve never gave up on his dream to surf again.
During his recovery he made secret trips to the beach riding waves using a body board, but only when no one was watching. For most surfers like Steve it’s a shame to catch waves lying down.
When you look at Steve out in the open water it’s hard to imagine what happened to him. He has a muscle missing from his right arm and half a foot missing, but Steve still manages to stand on his board with ease and confidence.
Steve has a strong Christian perspective on life.
Doctors were saying to Steve that he should have been dead and the big guy up stairs was looking after him.
Steve takes nothing for granted, including surfing.
Steve’s story is part of the ABC Open sports project 110%, a video project dedicated to passionate people like Steve who give 110% to their sport.
From MidWest WA’s Open slate.