Doctors didn't think he'd walk again, much less ski.

Seattle man beats paralysis with a little help from a friend. Jamie Osborne is 75 percent paralyzed. His friend Sam Savar 100 percent doesn't care. During an aggressive, lunchtime bike ride in 2007, Jamie crashed and landed on his head and neck. This

Jamie Osborne is 75 percent paralyzed. His friend Sam Savar 100 percent doesn't care.

During an aggressive, lunchtime bike ride in 2007, Jamie crashed and landed on his head and neck.

"The next thing I remember was somebody holding my neck. And then I realized, looking up, that the trees were above me. And I could see the sun filtering down thru the branches and I go, oh my God.," he says.

This former college rower, marathon runner and heli-skier knew he was in trouble.
 
"They were poking me. Can you feel this? Can you feel this? Feel this? Feel this in my lower half. And I kept saying no I can't feel anything."
 
He didn't know if he'd ever see his kids again.
 
"Really thought it was gonna be lights out. Things were gonna be over. I was gonna die."
 
He made it through THAT day. But he couldn't move from his chest down. 
 
After a year of physical therapy, doctors felt his recovery was at a plateau. 
 
That's when he bumped into Sam, an old buddy from the Seattle Athletic Club.
 
"Only thing I know is Jamie was gone for a while. And I didn't know what happened," says Sam.
 
He offered to workout with Jamie.
 
"He never looked at me as impaired. Little did I know what I was signing up for," says Jamie.
 
They started with literal small steps at first, turning mundane tasks like stairs or getting out of the car into exercises.
 
"Y'know I'd whine and explain to him about my neurological deficits and why I couldn't do this. And I was full of excuses. And finally I got the message that Sam didn't wanna hear any of that," says Jamie.
 
They worked out for seven years.
 
Sam points to Jamie's head and says, "Up here, he knows he can do it 'cuz he's done it. He's not afraid of it. That fear is gone."
 
Countless pullups and planks, pushes and pulls lead to a dream.
 
"I always had this vision of getting back on skis again," says Jamie.
 
Jamie skied Whistler again last December, from top to bottom, without falling.
 
"And when I'm hugging my daughter, you can't really see the tears in my eyes cuz I've got my goggles on. But in that picture it was, we were just so happy for each other. They were happy for me. And I just will never forget it."
 
And he made it back to the top of the mountain thanks to his gym buddy, now a lifelong friend.
 
"I can only describe him as a gift. I love the man. He has changed my life."   
 
You can meet Jamie in person as he signs his new book at Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island October 26.
 
Evening is your guide to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.   Watch it weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 TV or streaming live on KING5.com.  Connect with Evening via FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or email eveningtips@king5.com.
 
 

© 2017 KING-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment