MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Snocross racer is getting ready to make a comeback of his own.
Two years ago Raycer Frank was nearly paralyzed after a dirt bike accident. The 17-year-old from Paynesville lost feeling in his legs and doctors didn’t think he’d walk again.READ MORE: Charges: Scott Co. Woman Put Mother In Chokehold And 'Squeezed Like A Python'
“That’s all I’ve ever known is just racing. I love it. And I’m just going to keep doing it either way,” said Frank.
A fitting first name for the sport he loves, Raycer began competing when he was just 4 years old.
“When he’s at a young age and he’s already beating you, you realize he is going to go somewhere doing it,” said Ryan Frank, Raycer’s dad.
By the age of 10, Raycer was winning non-stop. 2020 was his best year, as he won the national Snocross series. But the celebration was short-lived. That spring, while riding a dirt bike, the unthinkable happened.
“About a few laps in Raycer went up to a whoops section, which is basically continuous jumps, and ended up making a mistake and going over the handle bars head first and broke his neck,” said Ryan Frank. “First thing he said was, ‘I can’t feel my legs.'”
He spent months in the hospital with a C6 spinal cord injury. Doctors told him it was unlikely he’d regain movement in his legs.READ MORE: Study: Minnesota's Racial Wealth Gap Is 3rd-Worst In Nation
“I knew that’s no way that’s how I’m going to be the rest of my life. So I just keep pushing,” said Raycer.
So he went full throttle on the rehab- and it’s paid off. Hours of therapy led to a miraculous recovery. He went from moving a single toe to being able to stand. Now, he can even walk a little bit with the help of a walker. And thanks to a custom-made seat, he’s got the green light to return to the race track at Canterbury Park this weekend.
“I’m super excited. Just ready for this weekend. I can’t wait for it. It should be fun racing in front of everybody again,” said Raycer.
Considering everything he’s been through, his dad knows that no matter what happens on Saturday, Raycer has already won.
“I’m super excited. I’m so excited. I don’t know how it’s going to feel when I see him sitting on that starting line again waiting for the green light,” said Ryan. “I don’t know how I’m going to react. I hope there are no cameras on me.”
Raycer was well enough to begin practicing on a 4-wheeler this past summer.MORE NEWS: Police Release Photos Of I-394 Shooting Suspect Vehicle, Seeking Public's Help
He said he still has a long way to go before he’s fully recovered, but he’s hoping his story inspires others who are going through what he’s going through.