It's been five years since Bend's Tyler Eklund crashed during a national championship snowboarding competition in Reno, Nevada.
The freak accident paralyzed Tyler from the shoulders down, leaving him confined to a wheelchair and forcing him to use a ventilator to breathe.
But he hasn't let the injury stop him from living life to the fullest.
NewsChannel 21 caught up with Eklund at his home, where he told us what he's been up to since the horrible accident.
"It's been a long, long road but definitely worth it," Tyler Eklund said.
Five years ago, Tyler was doing what he loves doing.
"Definitely riding my snowboard was the best thrill," Tyler said. "The best thing I could have ever picked up."
And he was good. So good that he went to a national competition in Reno, Nevada.
But during a Sunday training run, Tyler took a fall which broke a vertebrae in his neck.
The injury paralyzed Tyler. He now must use a ventilator to stay alive.
"It's been a struggle in the beginning, but I'm definitely figuring out ways to make life better, to live life pretty much to fullest," Tyler said.
And nothing is stopping him.
Over the past five years, Tyler has fished, shot guns, hunted, jet-skied and rode in friends' cars.
"Nothing is really too hard to do," Tyler said. "If it is, we definitely make a way."
Helping him make a way is his girlfriend, Carmen, from Bend who he met more than a year ago on Facebook
"She means a lot to everybody," Tyler said. "Especially, she's very dearly to me."
Carmen has learned everything about Tyler's condition, going to all his doctor visits and wanting to learn what his needs are.
But it's Tyler's dad, Mike, who has been his primary caretaker and Tyler's biggest hero from day one.
"If it weren't for him, I definitely would be lost," Tyler said. "I wouldn't have life today."
Mike helps Tyler get up in the morning, get dressed, get him in his chair, make sure he takes all his meds and get the overall care he needs.
"A lot of people don't realize the amount of care and attention Tyler needs," Mike said. "Mainly because of the ventilator."
If that ventilator becomes disconnected, Tyler can't breathe.
While Tyler can get to places using a customized van, there is still a lot of planning that goes into it. because of the size of the ventilator.
"He can get in," Mike said. "He can get there, but he can't because its too long, too big or he can't, or we have to get him out of his chair because the ventilator has to go with him everywhere he goes."
Mike says you just can't leave him in a bubble.
"He wants to get out and do things," Mike said. "So we try and MacGyver up what we need to do to try to make it happen."