Damian Collier, a 15-year-old Saugus High School freshman, returned home from the hospital the day before Thanksgiving after enduring a motocross accident on Nov. 4 in Palmdale.
According to his mother, Nikki Cormier, Damian’s father, Sean Collier is a professional supercross/motocross racer who inspired him to train to become a professional.
“It just runs in Damian’s blood and he’s been getting better and better and spending more and more time because he wants to become a professional, as well. He was just doing his normal, out at a track up near Palmdale, and his bike actually died midair,” Cormier said. “He was at least 20 feet away from his bike. Luckily, my dad was with him and was able to somehow get Damian back all the way to the truck. He was bleeding everywhere and could barely move and they brought him straight to Henry Mayo.”
Collier was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated by his stepfather, Clay Cormier, a Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital emergency physician.
Collier experienced pain in his pancreas, and after being transferred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, it was discovered that his pancreas was split in half, resulting in surgery the following day.
“The surgery was supposed to just be a tiny little microscopic entry near his belly button. But because there were some other things going on in there with his spleen and his small intestine, they actually had to cut him all the way open. From his sternum all the way down the front of his stomach,” Cormier said.
Collier then spent two weeks recovering, and had drains on both of his sides.
“The staff at the Children’s Hospital were absolutely fantastic. We had to manage trying to get down there and see him — luckily he had a bunch of his motocross buddies bring him a TV and I brought him his Xbox,” Cormier said. “He’s so optimistic. He’s already asking when he can ride again.”
While Collier is physically recovering, he has progress yet to make regarding his energy levels. In addition, he will be finishing the remainder of the school semester with an assigned teacher, with hopes of coming back to school in person in January.
Cormier appreciates the community support, encouraging anyone who has any comments relating to motocross for Damian to reach out to her email: [email protected].
“I just think the support and stuff that people gave us was just really cool. It made him feel really good,” Cormier said.