Survivor thrives

Robert Pike maintains a positive outlook despite being in a horrific accident. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d410275
Robert Pike maintains a positive outlook despite being in a horrific accident. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d410275

Mr Pike was just 17, sitting in the rear seat of a friend’s car and returning from an afternoon of tenpin bowling with friends, when the vehicle aquaplaned along Safety Bay Road in Baldivis, spinning out of control and hitting a tree.

The car split in two and Mr Pike woke in hospital thinking he had endured a horrific nightmare ” the reality was far worse.

He discovered his three friends had died and while he had survived, he lost both legs below the knee and broke his back.

‘My feet were in the front half of the car and my body was in the back,’ he said.

‘I woke up in hospital and |didn’t realise what had happened, I thought I’d just had a bad nightmare.

‘My best friend was sitting in the seat next to me and he pretty much died in front of my eyes.’

Surviving what he described as ‘plain and simply an accident’ has understandably been difficult.

A positive outlook and determination to walk into his school ball was the inspiration for his early recovery.

‘For the first few years, I felt guilty about being the only one to survive and I really struggled with that,’ he said.

‘My way of dealing with (the accident) was to be super positive, but I was always searching for an answer; why did I survive and why didn’t one of the other guys?

‘I struggled to the point sometimes I found myself wishing I’d just died in the accident too, or that if I
could substitute my life for one of the others I would’ve done that.’

Now 31 and married with a threeyear- old daughter, Mr Pike has turned his disability to his advantage with a professional sporting career playing wheelchair basketball in Europe for FC Barcelona and also
representing Australia.

Through his business Equipe Industries, Mr Pike takes his story to schools, delivering motivational speeches and imploring children to make the most out of life.

‘My story can influence young people and make a difference in them getting the most out of life and achieving their dreams,’ he said.

‘When kids listen to my story they are silent and there’s a big shock factor, but that’s a good thing because it makes them listen and realise that it’s not just a story, it’s real and it actually happened to me.

‘I take my legs off and pass them around because I want them to touch it and realise this is my life; when I go home at night I take my legs off, when I have a shower I take my legs off.’

Mr Pike said he continues to live by a mantra of aspiring to achieve your dreams, with hopes of touring the United States and expanding his family.

‘I love speaking, I love inspiring kids, it’s my passion,’ he said.

‘I’d love to take my story overseas and I’d love to be able tfor the rest of my life.’