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Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his back: Inspiring TikTok star

A 22-year-old medical student who was paralyzed for life in 2021 after a horror skiing accident has returned to the slopes a year later.

Jimmy Janfrom Newcastle, New South Wales, has gained millions of followers on TikTok for his optimistic attitude as he documented his rehabilitation and life in a wheelchair.

He broke his back on August 9, 2021 at Perisher Ski Resort after making a wrong jump at high speed, landing on his head and shattering his spine.

The self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie began learning to ski again in June with teacher Tom Hodgiflora, a disabled winter sports and Paralympic development coach.

A 22-year-old medical student who was paralyzed for life in August 2021 after a horror skiing accident has returned to the slopes just a year later.

A 22-year-old medical student who was paralyzed for life in August 2021 after a horror skiing accident has returned to the slopes just a year later.

Pictured in 2021

Pictured in 2021

Pictured in 2022, returning to the slopes

Pictured in 2022, returning to the slopes

Jimmy Jan, from Newcastle, New South Wales, has gained millions of followers on TikTok for his optimistic attitude as he documented his rehabilitation and life in a wheelchair

“Pretty excited to be back in the snow after last year’s setback…,” he wrote in an ironic post at the time.

“This Jimmy will try to be safer, but no promises.”

And after two months of practice, Jimmy commemorated the day of his accident by hitting the slopes with his sit ski (adapted ski equipment for those who can’t ski).

‘The big birthday of 12 months after the skiing accident that left me with a spinal cord injury. Pretty excited to spend the day back in the snow with some of the best,” he wrote.

And after two months of practice, Jimmy commemorated the day of his accident - August 9 - by hitting the slopes with his sit ski (adapted ski equipment for those who can't ski)

And after two months of practice, Jimmy commemorated the day of his accident - August 9 - by hitting the slopes with his sit ski (adapted ski equipment for those who can't ski)

And after two months of practice, Jimmy commemorated the day of his accident – August 9 – by hitting the slopes with his sit ski (adapted ski equipment for those who can’t ski)

1660701273 576 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

1660701273 576 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

1660701273 555 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

1660701273 555 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

“It’s okay to fall, but make sure you don’t lie down for too long,” he said in the video.

“Last year around this time I woke up in the ICU after major surgery, and today I’m pretty happy not to wake up in a hospital and have to drive up the mountain for another day.

“It’s okay to fall, but make sure you don’t lie down for too long.”

Jimmy has been praised by millions for his optimistic and cheeky TikTok videos after the accident where he broke his back on a high-speed morning ski run.

Jimmy had moved to Perisher for a snow season after Covid-19 led him to study online for a semester.

That morning while skiing for an afternoon class, Jimmy landed on his head and broke his back in the fateful jump.

Jimmy is determined to continue the active lifestyle he led before the accident (pictured)

Jimmy is determined to continue the active lifestyle he led before the accident (pictured)

Jimmy is determined to continue the active lifestyle he led before the accident (pictured)

1660701275 756 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

1660701275 756 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

“Last year around this time I woke up in the ICU after major surgery, and today I’m pretty happy not to wake up in a hospital and ride up the mountain for another day,” he said.

“I landed the first jump, easy peasy, and approached the second jump which is significantly bigger and I had decent speed,” Jimmy said in a video.

“I’m making the second jump, I’m coming to the top and my weight wasn’t where it needed to be. So I did the world’s worst backflip, and not on purpose.

‘I caught a few feet of air and remember thinking ‘oh cr*p this is going to hurt’ and that’s the last thing I remember because a few seconds later I landed right on my head and lost it Awareness.’

He was then rushed to the medical center where he began to experience chest pain and difficulty breathing.

But the young medical student remains positive despite the situation and shared the details in a series of TikTok videos

But the young medical student remains positive despite the situation and shared the details in a series of TikTok videos

But the young medical student remains positive despite the situation and shared the details in a series of TikTok videos

They then cut off his snow gear to x-ray his entire body.

But he was more concerned about the doctors cutting up his expensive ski clothes and how he smelled than about the damage he had done to his body.

“You’re probably wondering what was going through my head at that moment and my first thought was, ‘Oh no, they just cut my favorite sweater into shreds.'”

“My second thought was, ‘Oh no, this is the fourth day in a row I’ve been wearing these thermals without washing them, I’m pretty sure I smell bad now’.”

Jimmy woke up in the snow surrounded by witnesses and ski patrols asking if he was okay and if he could move his toes, which he couldn’t.

“That’s when I knew it probably wasn’t going well,” he said.

1660701276 414 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

1660701276 414 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

1660701277 671 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

1660701277 671 Jimmy Jan returns to Perisher to ski after breaking his

“I caught a few feet of air and remember thinking ‘oh shit this is going to hurt’ and that’s the last thing I remember because a few seconds later I landed right on my head and lost consciousness,” he said.

X-rays show Jimmy severely fractured a fracture in his spine and was flown to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery

X-rays show Jimmy severely fractured a fracture in his spine and was flown to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery

Doctors told Jimmy during surgery that they had decompressed his spinal cord and stabilized the fractures with screws and rods

Doctors told Jimmy during surgery that they had decompressed his spinal cord and stabilized the fractures with screws and rods

Doctors told Jimmy during surgery that they had decompressed his spinal cord and stabilized the fractures with screws and rods (right)

X-rays revealed that Jimmy had broken a fracture in his spine and was flown to the nearest hospital for emergency surgery.

Before he left, he asked the medical workers if they could retrieve his laptop, headphones, phone charger, toothbrush and other essentials from his van parked atop the snow mountain, which they did.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, doctors performed spinal surgery and Jimmy woke up pain-free in the ICU.

Doctors told Jimmy during surgery that they had decompressed his spinal cord and stabilized the fractures with screws and rods.

Looking back on the day of the incident, Jimmy didn't cry or yell, just took a selfie with the caption 'oopsie' that he saved on his phone

Looking back on the day of the incident, Jimmy didn't cry or yell, just took a selfie with the caption 'oopsie' that he saved on his phone

Looking back on the day of the incident, Jimmy didn’t cry or yell, just took a selfie with the caption ‘oopsie’ that he saved on his phone

He regularly shares updates on his TikTok account where he has more than 600,000 followers and 10 million views where he is regularly praised for his attitude

He regularly shares updates on his TikTok account where he has more than 600,000 followers and 10 million views where he is regularly praised for his attitude

He regularly shares updates on his TikTok account where he has more than 600,000 followers and 10 million views where he is regularly praised for his attitude

Jimmy claims he was told it’s likely a feeling will return under his hips as his injury level is about two percent.

He regularly shares updates about his TikTok account where he has over 600,000 followers and 10 million views where he is regularly praised for his attitude.

“You are the most inspiring person I’ve ever seen in this app on your own. You are like sunshine in human form,” one wrote.

“I like this attitude because all too often we get mad at ourselves and beat ourselves up. This is a much healthier attitude,” added another.

A third said, “Your mind is contagious.”

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