The man who smiles in the face of the toughest adversity

There's something about Toby Lyndon which makes you feel better about life.

He's had more than his share of bad fortune.

On October 10, 2009, aged 21, he was hit by a train as he walked home from a party. He did survive - just - but spent a week in a coma and came round to learn that both his legs had been lost at the thigh.  He was released from hospital after months of treatment.

Toby Lyndon. Photo:  Karleen Minney

Toby Lyndon. Photo: Karleen Minney

Three weeks ago, he was driving his specially adapted car in Canberra when his prosthetic limb got caught in the controls and he lost control and crashed.  As he said at the time: "There is no bottom, things just keep getting worse."

His car was his home so now he lives in a homeless hostel in Hackett.

And yet, he smiles. He is positive, without an ounce of self-pity.

His sense of humour is unimpaired, so much so that he makes the kind of jokes about his legless plight which from anyone else would be in bad taste. The original accident was his own fault, he admitted, adding, "There was no compensation because I wouldn't have a had a leg to stand on".

He has two artificial legs but moves around on the stump because the heat makes the legs oppressive.

He is positive. "I never really saw it as having a choice. I just thought 'I've lost my legs but I've got to get on with my life'.

"What should I do? Just lie around in bed all day?"

He has not lain around in bed all day. Instead, he decided to go to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra to train, with the dream of representing Australia in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

But he has not had an ongoing job since losing his legs - that's why he lived in his car. When it crashed, he left it and his remaining belongings were taken.

Toby Lyndon's car and home. Photo: Facebook.

Toby Lyndon's car and home. Photo: Facebook.

Now, though two good samaritans have got involved and set up a fund to get him a new car and a new wheelchair for athletic racing.

Noreen Vu and Jeremy Lasek were involved in the Orange Sky Laundry organisation which offered washing facilities for the homeless, including Toby. They've set up a fund to buy him the two sets of wheels.

"Despite everything, Toby is one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet,’ Noreen Vu said.

"He treasures his independence, doesn’t seek sympathy or handouts, and is just grateful to have been provided emergency accommodation while he tries to get his life back together."

Toby Lyndon who is 30 is hoping to recover enough to get a job. In the past, he's delivered pizzas.

The people he trains with have been very supportive as a community of people with similar determination and situation.

It's been a mental and a physical struggle. He says he used to cry but is now past that.

And he misses some things, surfing, in particular.

"Everything is a learning curve", he said.

The fund can be found here.