“Happiness Is All Around You. Open Your Eyes And Embrace It. It’s Contagious.”

Damien LeRoy, maybe a name you haven’t heard of.  If you have you’re very lucky.

I’ve never done a profile piece on anyone before but I think this individual is worth talking about.

Damien LeRoy is a professional kiteboarder from Vail, Colorado, currently residing in Jupiter, Florida.

I discovered Damien in early 2013 as he, in partnership with his sponsor GoPro, released a video titled “Damien LeRoy:  The Message”

Three minutes of reflection on how important it is to be happy.  No matter how tough times get there’s always a silver lining.  What I learned is, the hardest part of any tough time is not about getting over what happened but finding out what you learned from it and how you’re going to be better moving forward.

I’ve been following Damien’s videos and social media ever since.  Each post a reflection of how amazing life can be when you surround yourself around the right people and environment.  A daily reminder more people could use.

In the summer of 2016 Damien’s optimism was put to the test when he was power paragliding over the South Florida beaches.  His engine failing and cords tangling he had no choice but to release himself from his harness some 150 feet above the ground.  And like most of his actions sports, it was all caught on tape.

Suffering a broken back, femur, pelvis, 3 ribs, and a punctured lung.  He survived this ridiculous crash.  I remember hearing the news mid July of that year and being devastated.  What was going to happen to someone who’s brought joy and positivity to so many people?

He quickly posted a thankful and hopeful message instagram shortly after saying,

“Dear friends & family,

First, I’d like to thank you all for your support. I have been in awe of all the support, messages, and prayers you’ve sent, and I can’t thank you enough. I would also like to send a huge thank you to Jupiter Police Department, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, and St. Mary’s Hospital. I’ve felt so much love over the past few days that I’ve barely noticed the rod in my leg! I’m still not able to respond to your messages, but I promise I’ll get to them when I can. For now, I just need time and sincerely appreciate your patience.

As to my condition, I’m doing really well all things considered. My most significant injury seems to be my broken femur, which had a very successful surgery. My other injuries, including my punctured lung, fractured spine, broken tailbone, and a few other smaller injuries, will all heal on their own.

I know a lot of people want to know what happened:

I was powered paragliding, which I’ve been doing often for many years. After coming out of a maneuver, my steering lines became twisted, and I could no longer control my glider. Since it looked like I was going into the water, I decided to unfasten myself from the harness. Unfortunately, as soon I was out of the harness, the glider started turning towards the beach. I wasn’t sure if I would even hit the water if I jumped, but I knew there was a chance that my glider could hit someone if I let go. Instead, I opted to hang on until I was past the beach and over the road. Once clear of the road, my options were limited and the longer I waited, the more speed I gained. When I saw an opportunity, right or wrong, I jumped, putting myself in God’s hands. There is no question that angels helped bring me down.
I couldn’t ask to be in better hands than at St. Mary’s Hospital with all my friends and family. The love is absolutely incredible. Again, thank you for all of your support and prayers. I will let you know when I’m ready to talk more. Until then, I just need to rest.

Love you all,

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Photo Credit http://www.damienleroy.com

Damien was pretty vocal throughout his recovery and proved to us that even in his darkest time he’d come back as rad as ever.  Showing appreciation and making friends all throughout his recovery.

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After a completely successfully recovery Damien has gotten back into doing what he loves.  He’s competing again and has even taken on motivational speaking.  Not a surprise really.

“The world is a tough place.”  Sure enough there are plenty of things in your personal life that weigh you down at times.  You have to remember to surround yourself around the people, places, and things that make you happiest.  Nothing else really matters.

You can follow Damien LeRoy on his multiple social media platforms below:

Instagram / Facebook / YouTube / Website 

Published by Jared

Founder of Days Away Creative LLC, The Growing Photographer, and more!

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