Five years ago, on July 5th, 2015, at the Motorland Aragon circuit, reigning Spanish Superbike champion Kenny Noyes was getting ready for that weekend's round of the CEV Spanish Superbike championship. The American, son of veteran US journalist Dennis Noyes, and former Moto2 rider, had work to do to cut his deficit in the standings to current leader Carmelo Morales.
Noyes would not get a chance to close the gap. During the Sunday morning warm up session, the Kawasaki rider crashed. It was a bad crash. Very bad. So bad, in fact, that Noyes was left in a coma, and taken to hospital with suspected severe brain trauma.
In hospital, his coma was assessed as being very bad. His score on the Glasgow Coma Scale was 3, the lowest possible score, and the most severe condition of unresponsiveness which is only distinguished from death by basic functions of lung and heart. After a long coma, and then a long period of what is called "minimal consciousness" which is basically a vegetative state, Noyes began moving up the scale.
The American is dogged and persistent, however. As his condition improved, he sunk his teeth into rehabilitation with the determination you would expect of a motorcycle racing champion. Now, after five years, he is walking unassisted with difficulty, speaking with difficulty, but with cognitive functions and memory restored.
It is a truly astonishing turnaround for Kenny Noyes. In the days after the crash, his family were preparing to accept that he would not make it. Now, five years later, he continues to make progress towards an amazing recovery. The fight goes on working with expensive therapies and therapists in Barcelona.