Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

Le journal étudiant de l'École secondaire la Camaradière

The Camaradiant

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Paralyzed Due to Passion


A young thrill-seeker from the Laurentians, paralyzed after surviving a crash at nearly 100 km/h during a jump last fall, is still clinging to his dream of becoming a skydiving instructor.

On September 29th, 2023, the 22-year-old resident of Saint-Adèle, passionate about extreme sports, figured he had time for a parachute jump before a busy weekend. “I shouldn’t have jumped. I had a marathon, but I went anyway. It takes 500 jumps to be an instructor, he says. And from my first one, I knew I wanted to do this when I wasn’t snowboarding.” said Sam Constantin.

He went to Parachute Montreal, where he was a customer for three seasons. “At first, the jump was fine. However, I started a different maneuver to get parallel to the landing and gain speed, between 50 and 100 feet above the ground. It requires a lot of experience,” explains Sam who assures that he had the necessary background to attempt this maneuver, which he had already performed.

When it was time to let go of the cables, his parachute did not cooperate like wanted. “I arrived so fast, between 80 to 100 km/h. I didn’t have time to brake. I hit the ground, then I bounced back, he remembers. Under the impact, my L2 vertebra exploded. I was conscious the whole time. I felt straight away [that it wasn’t going well],” continues Sam Constantin.

One of the workers immediately saw that he was too close to the ground to accomplish this maneuver. She immediately called 911, because she knew his landing would be catastrophic. “Lying on the ground, I remember wanting to call my job to say that I wouldn’t be able to come home,” he says, laughing.

The following night, he had surgery on his spine and ankle. The seriously injured man was released from the hospital in mid-November, after more than six weeks of recovery.

Since then, even though he has been paralyzed from the waist down, Sam Constantin hopes to regain all the sensations in his legs, which are slowly recovering. Specialists do not commit too much on his recovery, according to him, but find him lucky, believing there is still hope… in the long term. Sam strives to walk with orthotics and a walker, he is focusing on strengthening exercises and stimulating his muscles using an electrostimulation.

“I often have moments of depression,” he says. I fully accept it, but it’s more the fatigue of fighting, than making the effort to recover, that isn’t easy. It impacts all my loved ones who spend a lot of energy on me.”

In the meantime, the CrossFit coach is holding on to his physical training to one day realize his dream of teaching snowboarding and skydiving.

His accident won’t even stop him from jumping again. “At first, I was hesitant. But I thought about it. I want to come back as a customer next summer. Despite what we think, skydiving is not dangerous, especially not in tandem. It was my maneuver that was dangerous. It’s human error. I wouldn’t try it again. I lost too much,” he concludes.

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About the Contributor
Mélianne Lamontagne
Mélianne is a 15 years old girl who loves school and her friends. She is in two different volleyball teams. She likes her family including her dogs and she’s passionate about a lot of things. She’s a sporty girl who likes to win with her team. She likes things to be like she wants. She does everything she can so that the others around her are happy and she’s always there for the people she loves. She has to be in nature minimum once a week to feel good. She loves autumn, it’s her favorite season of the year. 

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