The last week has been one of the hardest for wakeboarding and wakeskating in a long, long time. Yesterday we posted a story about Brad Smeele and his terrible injury. A few days ago, if you follow the @alliancewake Instagram or Facebook accounts, you might have noticed a post in regards to Matt Manzari, as well. Today it is also with heavy hearts but high hopes that we tell you more about Matt’s tragic accident.
Matt watching some of his friends at one of his favorite spots – Battle Falls – from one of his favorite rides Photo: Cortese
While trimming trees for his church last week, Matt was badly electrocuted and suffered severe third and fourth degree burns. He is currently in the burn trauma unit and has already undergone several surgeries, but he has many more surgeries and skin graft procedures to go. As you may know, Matt suffered another life threatening accident a couple years ago when he crashed badly while competing at the Toe Jam contest. He came back strong from that with the love and support from his family, friends, and the wake community behind him. The road ahead of Matt today is a very long one, but we’re all hopeful that he will once again defy the odds like only he seemingly can. Right now though Matt and his family need as much love, support, and prayers as they can get. Matt and his wife Bobbye Jean are also expecting their first child in January, and it is unlikely either one will be able to return to work while Matt is in the hospital and recovering. Over the years Matt has impacted many lives all around the world through his wakeskating, but mostly through his unbelievably kind heart and easy-going nature. We know many of you reading this feel the same way.
A page for donations has been set up here. Matt’s medical bills are going to be very, very high, so anything will help. Please also take a minute to pass this along via email or social media, and write a note of support for Matt.
If you’d like to show Matt you’re behind him, use the hashtag #miraclematt on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook. Matt’s Instagram is @wolfwithin and his Facebook page can be found here.
Truth be told sometimes it seems like when it rains it pours, but if there is a silver lining it is knowing just how tight-knit and supportive the wakeboarding and wakeskating communities are. We have unfortunately seen two brothers fall to serious, life-threatening injuries in the last week, but the response within that week has already been unbelievable. Please keep that momentum going, and please keep everybody affected in your thoughts and prayers.
Battle Falls night session
Toe portrait at the 10th Toe Jam in 2013 Photo: Cortese
Here’s to you, #MiracleMatt – stay strong and keep fighting! Photo: Cortese