RECOVERING national boxer Michael Alexander is set on returning to the ring.
Alexander was involved in an accident while riding his motorcycle in Diego Martin, on January 27. He was taken to the St James Medical Complex, then transferred to the Port of Spain General Hospital intensive care unit (ICU) in critical condition.
He suffered broken ribs, punctured lungs and broken bones in his left hand, among other injuries. Alexander spent a month in hospital, for the first two weeks of which he was warded in ICU.
On February 26, he was discharged and allowed to return to his Diego Martin home. Since then, he has been fighting new battles, outside the ring, to recuperate from his injuries.
He continues to show signs of improvement and although still a long way from full recovery, Alexander has set his sights on a possible return between the ropes.
“As the days go by I’m starting to feel better. I am coming along. As long as the therapy is available I will be there. I attend two appointments for therapy each week.
“Without a doubt I’d love to return to boxing, but I’m obviously unable to compete and train at any level right now. I still have a fair way to go in terms of recuperation,” he said.
Before he was discharged, the 27-year-old had successful surgery on his left arm and showed signs of improving mobility. He is eating solids and started a GoFundMe campaign to help offset the many costs of his rehabilitation.
The crowdfunding platform was created by fellow TT athlete and France-based table tennis player Rheann Chung. Its goal is to raise $250,000 towards his long road to recovery. Only $5,495 has been raised thus far, just two per cent of the target.
Alexander has been receiving support from the TT Olympic Committee (TTBA), TT Boxing Association, national boxing coach Reynold Cox and fellow boxers, among other sports personalities, family and friends.
He has been benefiting from sessions with physiotherapist Dominic Wilkes, who volunteered his services.
However, if Alexander wishes to return to competition in the long run, he will require the services of a neurologist to help return the nerves in his left arm to full functionality.
A neurologist treats the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system), peripheral nerves (nerves connecting the brain and spine to the organs, like the lungs or liver), and muscles.
“It’s just my left arm right now to return to full operation. I’m fully ‘on my foot’ right now and I’m mobile.
“It’s costing a lot of money to work on (myself) to recovery privately. I need to access a neurologist to help sort me out, most importantly,” Alexander said.
Fellow national boxer Aaron Prince has been by Alexander’s side since his return home and helps out with Alexander’s daily requests.
Alexander is a southpaw stance fighter, the normal stance for a left-handed boxer. This means that he usually has his right hand and right foot forward, leading with right jabs, and following with a left cross right hook.
Alexander’s left arm is his biggest challenge to total recovery. Prince called on corporate TT and citizens to help contribute to the return of a potential Olympian and talented young boxer.
“He needs a neurologist at his side right now to get the arm fully functional. Physiotherapy is important, but to get back the sensation and range of motion in his left arm, a neurologist is essential.
“We need people to donate to the GoFundMe, because his family are straining their finances to pay for therapy and other things he needs. Once the physiotherapist and neurologist can work hand in hand, I believe his recovery will come along faster.
“Michael being here (alive) is a miracle, to say the least. He is fully on his feet.
“But the left arm is his main concern. He’s a southpaw boxer so his left hand is crucial,” Prince stressed.
The recuperating boxer was grateful to have his sparring partner at his side during this trying time. He also thanked those who have wished him well for continuing to keep him and his family in prayer throughout the ordeal.
He singled out Price for special thanks.
“Aaron Prince has been helping me through thick and thin. He’s like a brother to me and sticks with me right through.
“At some point, I will be back. The ‘red wolf’ will be back.”