NEW BRUNSWICK - A Vernon native who lost his leg in a dirt bike accident at 15 and went on to become a Paralympic snowboarder returned Tuesday to the hospital that rehabilitated him.
Dan Monzo visited young patients and families at the New Brunswick branch of Children's Specialized Hospital.
Monzo is just back from the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, where he competed in snowboarding events.
He told children that just two weeks after learning how to walk with a prosthetic leg, he went back to snowboarding.
He urged them to act quickly on getting back to their lives. "Don't look at the hurdles you have right in front of you," says Monzo. "Look at the finish line where there's no hurdles where you want to be. Go chase your dreams, whatever it is."
Hospital staff welcomed the celebrity visit from someone who shares so much with the patients there. "You could decide that you could just go lay in a bed and curl up, but Dan said 'I'm gonna go and I'm gonna do my best and I'm gonna go snowboard' and he followed that dream all the way to Russia," says CEO Amy Mansue. "I think its so important for kids to see that this isn't the end of their lives as they know it."
Monzo says it wasn't planned, but today happened to be the eighth anniversary of his life-changing dirt bike accident.