Giving up is not an option.
This is the mindset Taurean Clarke has chosen to adopt.
Clarke had a life-changing accident in the wee hours of Whit Monday, May 17 this year, which left him with a broken left arm and a left leg so badly injured it had to be amputated.
The 26-year-old exudes a warm, bubbly and upbeat spirit, telling Barbados TODAY he chose to look on the bright side because he still has life.
“Nothing really has changed since the accident. [The] only thing I would say has changed is that I have a more positive outlook in regards to my life. Since the accident it’s ‘Ever Forward, Never Backward,’” he said.
Clarke recalls very little about the accident, his only memory being that of feeling trapped in the car and people trying to keep him awake.
However, in its wake he felt his spirit had been crushed, and having to depend on people to help do the simple things left him feeling he was being a burden.
But his attitude began to change and his mood improved as he continued to receive the support of family and friends.
“When people wanted to come to take me out, anything like that I thought I was a burden. After sometime passed and the strong support I was constantly receiving, I came to realize that wasn’t the case; everyone just wanted to see me better,” he explained.
“It wasn’t an easy feeling when I found out I had to lose my leg. I couldn’t believe it. When I went into the hospital I had the surgery and I didn’t know it was off, even the day after I didn’t know. When I was told it was off, it was hard to accept at first. I was 26, young guy and I was always an outgoing person, and I thought this would have kept me back, but it hasn’t. I moved on.”
Clarke, a huge motorsport fan, said he did not intend to let his injuries slow him down.
“I still do the things I used to do before, not as easy, but I still do them. I still go out, socialize, everything. I was always a social person. Nothing really has changed,” he said with a shy smile.
Also, he is driving his own vehicle again, something he said he knew was not going to be easy, but had to be done.
It began with the intervention of his father, but he is comfortable on his own now.
“When I was leaving the hospital I didn’t want to go back on the road. When I started driving again it felt natural, so it wasn’t hard for me. I came out the hospital the beginning of June and my dad would let me drive his car. He would be with me obviously, so it came back gradually,” he revealed.
Since losing his leg Clarke has found new ways to challenge and motivate himself.
He wants to be a motivational speaker – he is on his way, having spoken to students at this old school, Deighton Griffith “because that’s where I started”.
“I use myself as an example and tell them that giving up is not an option. Don’t give up. Just think of the positive times, the good times to just vibe out the bad thoughts. Keep a positive mindset. It won’t be easy but keep pushing and you would see the great outcome in the future,” he advised.
However, the amputee has set himself an even bigger challenge for 2017.
Not satisfied with the steps he has taken in the past seven months, he wants to walk again.
“My biggest goal for 2017 is walking again. If I’m not able to walk at least with the support of the cane, I just want to be back on my feet. I have a prosthesis, so I’m in the process of learning to walk again. I still get pain in my foot so it’s a pretty hard transition. But it felt pretty good to stand up again after lying down for such a long time. I will be practicing a lot more in 2017,” he stressed.