ON Dec 8 last year, I suffered a horrific crash in the keirin heats during the Track Cycling World Cup at Aguascalientes, Mexico, resulting in a concussion, a broken right clavicle, two broken ribs, a punctured lung, pneumothorax (an abnormal collection of air or gas between the lung and the chest which may affect breathing) and loss of a lot of skin.
Yet, here I am, just four weeks later, back in Melbourne and resuming training.
Here are my five tips to a quick recovery:
1. Maintain positive at all times and be mentally strong.
Although I had to be in an induced coma and went through a collarbone surgery, which was extremely painful immediately after, when the painkillers wore off, it was important for me to remain positive and be mentally strong. I focused on positivity, on how I could improve my condition and as the Law of Attraction has it, if I attract good things, good things will happen and in such circumstances, I will recover faster.
2. Have a good support system.
Having a good support system really helped with my recovery. I was lucky to have had the two medical team doctors, Dr Richard Freeman and Dr Jimmy Jaume, at the race. Coach John Beasley stayed with me throughout my ordeal in Mexico until I checked out from the hospital. Our cycling team members, Gillian Niven and Chee Lee Ming, were also a great help during the initial days.
It would have otherwise been a boring stay at the hospital but thanks to technology, I received many get well wishes from friends, family and supporters online.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Malaysian Consulate General in Melbourne Datuk Dr Mohamad Rameez Yahaya called to wish me well and offer support. The National Sports Institute (NSI) and National Sports Council (NSC) ensured that I got the best treatment in Mexico. The Malaysian Embassy in Mexico was also very kind to pay me a visit apart from national track cycling teams from other countries.
The doctors and nurses at the CMQ Hospital were a joy to work with. I also had a really good collarbone surgeon, Dr Howard Marans, in California who now knows my right clavicle very well, having operated on it twice.
My wife in Melbourne had no choice but to go through this ordeal from afar. However, we spent the Christmas holidays together with my immediate family in California.
I have been constantly surrounded by positive people which really helped with my recovery! Now that I am back training in Melbourne, my efforts with my team continue through sports psychology, massage therapy, nutrition, sports science, osteopathy, gym and track training!
3. Be diligent and follow the doctors' advice.
It helps to have experience with injuries; I know how to care for my injuries and be diligent with doctors' advice. Training continued even at the hospital! If I hadn't worked hard enough on my breathing exercises to help my punctured lung, I would have had to endure a 24-hour bus ride from Mexico to Los Angeles. Fortunately, I was fit enough to fly to LA for my collarbone injury. I also put on my scar treatment ointment on a regular basis as required.
4. Have no fear.
If cycling was ever my fear, I wouldn't have started cycling in the first place. I risk doing what I love doing and I risk it for my country … no greater feeling ever. I'm proud of being Malaysian.
5. Work towards goals; short-term and long-term.
I want to defend my titles at this year's Commonwealth Games (July) and Asian Games (September) and eventually compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Nothing in life comes easy; we have to work hard to achieve our goals. Have an open heart, “rilek-lah” and remember to smile through it all.
Follow Josiah Ng on fb.com/josiahcyclist.