Tyler Darby should be preparing to take on some of the world’s best young motocross talent.
Instead, the Couridjah teenager lays in a hospital bed as he recovers from a horrific motorbike accident.
Tyler – who is a three-time Australian Supercross champion – now faces the prospect of never riding a motorbike again.
Tyler had been preparing to compete at the 2018 World Junior Motocross Championship when he suffered extensive injuries during a motorbike crash.
The 17-year-old and a friend were testing a new motorbike track on a private property near Wollongong.
Tyler over-revved his 250cc KTM SX motobrike when taking on a jump and fell hard, with his vehicle landing on top of him.
Tyler fractured his neck and pelvis, broke his hip and lacerated a lung, while the impact of his helmet ruptured his left eye.
He was rushed to Wollongong Hospital before being transferred to St George Hospital for an emergency operation on his hip.
Tyler later underwent an operation on his left eye, but is now permanently blind in that eye.
Visibility in his right eye is unaffected.
Nearly a month after the accident, Tyler remains in hospital.
Tyler’s sister Brooke Cruise said it had been a tough time for their family.
“We are distraught,” she said.
“But the doctors at St George are doing a really good job and Tyler is on the road to recovery.”
Tyler is keeping his spirits as high as possible... he has been so strong.Tyler's sister Brooke Cruise
Tyler had been riding since he was six-years-old and was a member of the Oakdale Junior Motorcycle Club.
Ms Cruise said her brother had received great support since the accident, particularly from the Oakdale motorcross community.
“The support has been amazing,” she said.
“We’ve had a lot of visitors and Tyler is keeping his spirits as high as possible. Tyler has been so strong.”
Tyler’s family has launched a Go Fund Me page to help raise money for his recovery and rehabilitation.
The Darbys hope to raise $150,000 to help support ongoing medical costs.
To make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/5u9iqts.