Teen cycling to Euros seven months after fighting for life in New York

Ethan Walker is gearing up to cycle from Hampden to Munich - after being struck by a car in New York last September.

Huntly teen cycling to Euros seven months after fighting for life in New York Ethan Walker via Supplied

A teenager is gearing up to cycle from Hampden to Munich to support Scotland at the Euros – just seven months after being struck by a car and left in a critical condition in New York.

In the early stages of a football scholarship at a Genesee Community College in Rochester, former Huntly player Ethan Walker was hit by a car and left with catastrophic injuries on September 12, 2023.

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a nearby hospital where he it was revealed he was suffering from life threatening injuries – including multiple broken bones, two brain haemorrhages, and the complete dislocation of his right knee.

“I remember parts of the day it happened”, he told STV News. “I remember going to my PE class, the gym, doing a workout then going to my dorm, and helping cut my mates hair. That’s all I remember of the day.

“The first day I remember of being in hospital, was three weeks after the accident had happened. I had no recollection of what had happened.

“My family just wanted to get out there with me as soon as possible.

“I wasn’t getting rehab over there as I was under 18, so my mum was working on certain things to get the movement and function back.

“They were devastated.”

Ethan will be joined by Professor MacKay. Ethan Walker via Supplied

College friend Benjamin Bacon set up the fundraising appeal in an attempt to raise $50,000 towards the cost of his treatment.

“It felt amazing to have the support at the time”, Ethan added. “I was very grateful.”

Following six weeks of intensive care, Ethan was returned to Scotland, where he was referred to orthopaedic surgeon Professor Gordon Mackay.

At every appointment, Ethan had one question – ‘when can I play football’?

Impressed with his recovery and determination, Professor MacKay set Ethan a different challenge – to cycle to Munich for the opening game of Euro 2024, Scotland v Germany.

Ethan said: “When I get home the main focus on getting my swallow back, so I could eat. About a month down the line we had a meeting with Professor MacKay who said he would be able to operate on me as it was urgent.

“I was constantly asking Professor MacKay if I was going to be able to play football at every appointment.

“He kept telling me no, as it was too soon. So he said here’s football related challenge for you.

“I was quite hesitant at first. I thought no way I will manage that.

“But I don’t see why I cant do it and achieve it.

“Professor MacKay has been an amazing influence and wants me to achieve way more than I thought I could. I couldn’t ask for anything else.”

Leaving from Hampden Park on June 1, Ethan will be joined by the surgeon, alongside film-maker Martyn Robertson, and Tartan Army foot soldier, Stephen Collie.

The group will cycle to Newcastle, hop on a ferry to Holland, and hit the pedals on to Munich covering 1200km in total.

“I’ve seen the route. The first couple of days will be the hardest as the UK is filled with hills.

“As soon as we get to Holland its all flat and will hopefully be easier.

“Its amazing. Its wanting me want to achieve everything I can and it really helps challenge me mentally and physically.

“I don’t have a ticket, but being in Munich for the opening game is enough for me.”

The group is leaving on June 1st.Ethan Walker via Supplied

Beyond Germany, Ethan is aiming to get back to normal life – and hopefully lacing up the boots once again.

“I’m starting college in August and getting back to my normal life.

“I hope I can play football but I don’t know for sure yet. But I like to think I think I can.

“We’re fundraising money for The Duncan Hospital Charitable Trust and The British Heart Foundation.

It would mean a lot to me and the people I’m cycling with to raise them money.

“Everyone helped me, and I would like to give it back and help others.”

You can donate to Ethan’s GoFundMe here.

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