WATCH: Five years after almost dying in a disturbing Ogden Point motorcycle crash, a former police officer says cutting-edge treatment he recently had in Australia was life-changing and he wants other amputees to know about it. Tess van Straaten has the CHEK news exclusive.
Ron Broda says it’s not hard for him to return to the scene of the horrific crash that almost killed him five years ago.
“Fortunately, I don’t have any recollection of incident at all and coming back here hasn’t spurred any memories or any emotion at all,” Broda says.
Broda was riding his motorcycle on the morning of July 24, 2013, when a man driving a SUV followed him into Ogden Point and smashed into him at a high rate of speed, severing Broda’s left leg and leaving the former Saanich and Vancouver police officer with life-threatening injuries.
“I was not expected to live — they didn’t think I would make it through that first day,” says Broda. “One of my doctors recently said to me, ‘just take any one of your injuries and it could have been different’ so I know it’s a miracle that I’m alive.”
The father of three has had at least 10 surgeries since the crash but he says cutting-edge treatment in Australia in April has been life-changing.
“What this has done for me has basically given me my leg back,” says Broda. “I can actually feel, through my prosthetic foot, the ground I’m standing on which I couldn’t do with a regular prosthesis.”
It’s called osseointegration and it involves a titanium rod being attached directly to the bone, which then becomes integrated into the body. The direct attachment eliminates fit issues, pain and discomfort, skin infections and other complications that are common with traditional prosthesis.
Broda, one of just 21 patients in Canada, thinks the surgery will soon be the go-to treatment for amputees.
“I’m almost walking normally again,” says Broda. “I’m carrying a crutch with me but that’s just so I don’t fully weight-bear on it yet but by the end of the summer, I’ll be totally off crutches and you won’t be able to tell I’m an amputee.”
The surgery cost just over $100,000 and wasn’t covered by BC Medical. Broda paid for it with settlement money from the civil suit against Eric Gosse, who was found guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Now 60-years-old and recently retired from a job at Canada Border Services, Broda says he’s forever grateful to all the people who helped save his life and he’s making every day count.
“When you go through an experience like this, you realize how short life can be and how uncertain it is and how, just like that, it can be gone,” says Broda, snapping his fingers.