From death to the top of the Alps in one year.
A remarkable story of survival, recovery and overcoming, Grant shares his inspirational journey that took him from death to the top of the Alps in less than one year. Considered, by most, to be a story of astounding recovery and incredible courage, he now rides annual Im’possible Tours, taking his second chance at life to the limit, and beyond, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible if we believe ‘we are possible’.
In Trento, Italy on 21 July 2013 Grant Lottering started the day racing to win, and ended the day fighting to live. During a world championship preparation race in the Italian Alps, while descending the first mountain, he entered a wet corner at over 66 km/h and crashed straight into a rock embankment.
By the time the medical team arrived, Grant had lost consciousness and his heart had stopped beating. Surgery at the scene was required to enable assisted ventilation. Airlifted to the Santa Chiara Emergency Hospital in Trento, he spent eight days in ICU and 12 days in high care, before he was flown back to South Africa with medical assistance.
Grant suffered two compound fractures to his spine, 12 rib fractures, a fractured sternum, two compound fractures of his right femur, multiple fractures of his shoulder blade and clavicle, crushed shoulder, collapsed lungs and thorax, internal bleeding in abdomen and spleen, ruptured veins in his neck and right arm, and the list goes on.
Grant spent four months recovering at home, and underwent a total of six surgeries and 83 rehabilitation sessions. Rehabilitation and shoulder treatment continues with further surgeries required.
In only 11 months, after a miraculous and remarkable recovery, Grant returned to the Alps to attempt what he called the Im’possible Tour, culminating in successfully completing the Leggendaria Charly Gaul in Trento, Italy, in July the race that almost claimed Grant’s life only one year before. An attempt which medical professionals claimed to
“July 2014, my first Im’possible Tour – ‘from death to the top of the alps in one year’ was my biggest challenge ever on a bike. Never in my life have I had to dig so deep, and endure as much pain,” says Grant, “but racing past the very place where I crashed a year before, was to me, my biggest victory ever not only on a bike, but in life!”
The impossible was made possible in July 2014!