A Wyndham Vale man has come back from the brink of death to become a veteran bodybuilding competitor.
Andy Harrison, 55, will compete in his 10th national bodybuilding competition this weekend – and his 30th bodybuilding contest – 25 years after a road accident left him fighting for life.
Mr Harrison was in the airforce and regularly competed in marathons, triathlons and ironman competitions. He was hit by a car travelling at 100km/h while riding his bike along Point Cook Road in 1992.
He broke his shoulder, both legs, five fingers, ruined both knees and couldn’t walk or talk. Medical professionals said he would be in a wheelchair for life.
“I spent four days in a coma, three-and-a-half months in post-traumatic amnesia and one-and-a-half years in a rehabilitation centre.
“They flew my parents out from England to come to my funeral … my injuries were so bad, they thought I was going to die,” Mr Harrison said.
“I managed to get over it and I got myself back to a normal life. I’ve always liked to compete, but I couldn’t run any more. I found a natural [drug-free] bodybuilding association and 10 years later, I’m still going for it.”
For the first time, event organisers for this weekend’s event have introduced a physically challenged category, and Mr Harrison believes he has what it takes to win.
“I’m in pretty good shape; but you never actually know until the day when you see your competition. But I’m pretty confident.”