Two years ago sophomore John Sheffield didn’t expect to lose function in his leg for the next eight months of his life.
Racing or just free riding, Sheffield would ride his 250cc Yamaha dirt bike every weekend racing or free riding.
One Saturday Sheffield fine tuned his bike before a race. His adrenaline pumped as the start of the race neared. He got on his bike and proceeded to the starting gates. When the light turned green, all of the racers rapidly took off to try and take an early lead.
Sheffield took the early lead, feeling confident as he went into the fifth lap.
He was coming down from a jump when the front wheel of the bike hit the ground and turned sideways. Before he could regain control, Sheffield was hurled from the bike 60 miles per hour onto the compact dirt.
Writhing in pain Sheffield couldn’t move his left leg from the knee down. After an MRI it revealed that Sheffield completely shattered his left patella and tore his left ACL.
For the first three months Sheffield was restricted to a wheelchair in order for his knee to heal. He had to spend another five months wearing a brace to keep his leg aligned for his ACL to heal.
After those eight months, Sheffield was fully healed and ready to return to the track.
“Those eight months were awful. I hated having to stand off to the side in athletics and watch the other kids work out and have fun. I did get to get out of class five minutes early though, that was the only good thing that came out of that,” Sheffield said.