Though it has been almost seven years, Terrance Kosikar’s voice still fills with emotion when he recalls the tragedy.
Kosikar, 43, was a first responder at the Whistler Sliding Centre when Georgian luge athlete Nodar Kumaritashvili fatally crashed during a training run on the day of the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Though he went back to work after the traumatic event and put on a happy face, a downward post-traumatic stress spiral had begun.
Kosikar tried to commit suicide several times in the coming years and fell into drug addiction due to the guilt and flashbacks over the fatal crash, he told The Squamish Chief.
Recovery for Kosikar has been a long road that includes keeping fit, spending time in nature and finding purpose in helping others with the disorder.
Over the last year he has worked to raise awareness about PTSD and to lobby for change to both attitudes and legislation that hinders first responders’ access to help.
For those who may be suffering with PTSD, Kosikar said the key is to reach out.
“Talk to your friend, your brother, your co-worker, your boss,” he said. “What you are living with and feeling today, there are many other people out there who feel the same way.”
For more on Kosikar’s campaign go to, itsnotweaktospeak.com.
If you feel suicidal call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433). For mental health support call 310-6789 (no prefix needed).
( http://www.squamishchief.com/community/post-traumatic-stress-survivor-launches-book-and-tour-1.6153500 )
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