stettler independent, january 01, 2016

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January 01, 2016 edition of the Stettler Independent


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    Ezra Autons passion for quadding gets him back on his feet


    Sunshine streamed through the living room window lighting up Ezra Autons face as he spoke about quadding and why a serious accident earlier this year cant stop him from pursuing a sport he loves so dearly.

    Now a Grade 9 student of William E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus, Auton recalls the first time he was introduced to the world of quads.

    I had a friend in Grade 5 here in Donalda and we used to spend a lot of time together, he owned snow mobiles and that was one of the first times I actually drove a vehi-cle myself, said Auton. I was pretty sure I wanted a snow mobile then, but my dad convinced me otherwise, so I went for a quad.

    Auton started earning some money with his brother Judah, by mow-ing lawns in summer and shovelling snow during the winter months.

    Spending time online to get a quad within his budget was an uphill climb till he found one in Edmonton.

    I had made enough to purchase an entry-level quad, so I bought a 2010 GIO, which wasnt exact-ly amazing, but its what I could afford at that time and it was a good quad in terms of learning how to fix it and drive

    it, continued Auton. I spent a lot of time fixing it and learned a lot about the mechanics of all-ter-rain vehicles (ATVs) after I got it running pretty good, so I sold it and my next quad was a Raptor 350.

    Although it was his second quad, Auton felt it was too heavy for him.

    He was more interested in racing quads.

    So I purchased some-thing that was better suited to my weight and own a Raptor 250 now, said Auton. I like the speed, and I like working on machines and its all a part of it, I drive it for a while and then have to tweak it to get it to run properly again.

    What drives Auton to quadding is the abili-ty to do tricks, such as cat walking, jumping or drifting.

    I have done quite a bit of fixing to the quad I currently own and Im also giving it a few up-grades, such as nerf bars and speedometer, said Auton. At one point I found that the frame was cracked so I had to get it welded.

    With his dads help, Auton was able to take it all apart right down to the frame.

    My dads firefight-er friend is a welder, so he fixed it for me and I helped him with some work on his house for a trade, said Auton.

    When the quad acci-

    dent happened during the May long weekend earlier this year, Auton and his family was at a friends place.

    We were trying some new side by sides they had got and I got sliding around a turn when it flipped over on its side, and my arm was pinned between the roll cage and the road, described Auton. The orthopaedic surgeon told me it was as if I had put my arm in a meat grinder!

    After skin graft and four surgeries, besides weeks of healing, Auton was back on his feet in September, ready for the new academic year.

    Auton had to wear a wound vac for two weeks, which cleaned the wound and helped tissue to grow there.

    On days when they changed the dressing, morphine was adminis-tered to him because of the excruciating pain he felt.

    I have pretty good use of my arm now, but I wont ever have full range again although its pretty close, said Auton. I have one, maybe two surgeries coming up in the new year, which means another cast and more work afterwards on mobility but the scar will be much smaller I dont really like how it looks like right now, but Im sure glad that I still have my arm!

    Autons mum Cindy

    has mixed feelings about his getting back on the quad.

    I think Ill always have mixed feelings about him riding, but its pretty cool that he got back on and didnt let the acci-dent change his dreams and what he is passion-ate about, but Im always going to be nervous about the speed, said Cindy. I did have a few months in the middle when he was getting back to real life

    when I didnt recognize him, but Ezra has always been a go getter and not really afraid of anything, though he is very cau-tious now, which is good but surprises me.

    Auton wants to own a Yamaha dealership someday, or be out in the fields being a farmer, a theme that connects him to his passion, working with his hands.

    It took me a while to ride again, I was nervous

    but Im good now, Im back to riding and doing all the stuff I did before, but I have to figure out what my arm can and cant do from time to time, reflected Auton. I didnt think I was going to be able to play vol-leyball this year because when I over-hand served my arm wouldnt do what I needed it to do, but gradually Ive worked at it and had a pretty good year actually.

    Moush Sara John/Weekender reporter

    After a major quad riding accident, Grade 9 student of William E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus, Ezra Auton is back on his feet and wishes to keep intact his passion for quadding.


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