Boy Scout who lost leg pushing through recovery with triathlon

DJ Rish
DJ Rish

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands teen is pushing the limits while recovering from a life-changing accident.

Last July, a group of Boy Scouts were heading home from camp when their van crashed in the Upstate.

DJ Rish was one of the scouts who survived the crash.

"There's always a down in life," said Rish. "Life is not always a happy road all the time, there's ups and there's downs.

However, Rish has chosen a road that keeps him moving in a positive direction. Literally.

"In the beginning, you know, I was probably in the state of why did this happen," said Rish.

Rish suffered the most life-threatening injuries in the crash, consisting of third degree chemical burns, a hip fracture, and the amputation of one of his legs.

His life was changed forever.

"I was still in a wheelchair, just getting started on my leg, watching my friends go and play and do stuff I wasn't able to do at the time, but I got past that and now I can do whatever the heck I want," said Rish.

Throughout the last year, a physical therapist has worked with Rish at the YMCA in Irmo.

Rish's injuries to his right hip and losing his left leg made his recovery tricky, but after overcoming that hurtle it was time to keep pushing.

"We kind of felt like he needed something to help him look forward versus backward," said Rhyno Coetsee, Rish's physical therapist. "It's an old therapy trick, so the idea about the triathlon came up."

Rish has three different prosthetic legs, which allow him to do a wide range of activities.

It's everything he needs to complete the triathlon, and more importantly, continue life one stroke, pedal or stride at a time.

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