A man who lost both his legs after suffering a seizure and falling on a New York City subway platform plans to compete in a 5k obstacle course and a 6k race this weekend after training with prosthetic legs for a year.
Roman Leykin, 36, a former technician from Brooklyn who was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager, suffered a seizure on his way to work in February 2018, the Stamford Advocate reported.
The sudden attack caused him to fall onto subway tracks as a train ran over him, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury and his legs needing to be amputated.
No longer able to do his job, Leykin took to the world of athletics, taking on the Gaylord Guantlet 5K obstacle course on Saturday and the Achilles Hope & Possibility 6K on Sunday.
“Right now I’m going to as many amputee events as I can across the country and soon around the world,” Leykin told the attorney. “I can not stop.”
Roman Leykin, 36, suffered a traumatic brain injury and had both legs amputated after being hit by a New York City subway train in 2018. Forced to quit his job in tech, Leykin moved on to master walking with his new prostheses in one year.
Leykin (above) is confident in his ability to walk with the new prostheses as he competed in a 5km obstacle course on Saturday and plans to complete a 6km run on Sunday.
Leykin, who was a web developer working in Manhattan, said the moments after his 2018 accident were hazy after he fell unconscious with the brain injury he suffered.
He spent a year at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, New York, and used a wheelchair until 2021.
It was a big year for Leykin, who made a commitment to walk with short prostheses.
“I jumped out of my wheelchair and took a few steps and fell down immediately,” Leykin told the attorney of his first attempt with the “stubbies.”
‘I got up straight away. And I fell. And I immediately got up. And I fell.
“And within 15 or 20 minutes I was walking without clinging to a single thing. Yes, I was smaller, but freedom of movement gave me the freedom to live.
Documenting his progress on Instagram and TikTok, where he has nearly 200,000 followers, Leykin can be seen taking short, awkward strides in May 2021 before dropping with a smile on his face about freedom of mobility.
Since then, Leykin has evolved to use longer “technical legs” as he enjoys hiking, sailing, golf, bowling, rock climbing, hockey, skiing and other sports.
“I am a very competitive person. I love to sweat. So doing anything that makes you sweat makes me feel good, whatever the activity,” he said.
Leykin spent a year recovering from his accident and is now committed to training his body
He’s done a plethora of different sports, including rock climbing earlier this year.
With his new prosthetic long legs, Leykin has also taken up cycling
Leykin’s last venture was the chaotic Gaylord Gauntlet, a charity obstacle course run by Gaylord Specialty Healthcare at their Wallingford campus.
The 5K event features hikes through forest and mud hills, obstacles over trees and walls, and a slide in a pool of water. Overall, the race featured 24 hurdles for Leykin and others to overcome.
Katie Joly, program manager for the Gaylord Sports Association, praised Leykin for her drive and ability to change her life.
“A lot of times people get that confidence back to be who they are again because … a lot of the people we work with have had spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, limb loss, like Rome, and they learn to live their lives differently,” Joly told the lawyer.
The Gaylord Gauntlet featured 24 obstacles for Leykin and others to overcome
Obstacles include a wall climb after hiking through mud hills
The penultimate obstacle is a slippery slope in a pit of water
The fun but grueling course would leave most people too sore to move the next day, but Leykin opted to tackle the 20th annual Achilles Hope & Possibility four-mile race on Sunday instead.
The race, which is set to start in the morning in New York’s Central Park, celebrates the inclusion of people with disabilities and allows everyone to join the event on the heels of the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act .
Leykin told the attorney he was excited to be in the race and keen to follow his mantra, “Relentless Positive Momentum.”
The athlete said he was still moving forward, jokingly warning others: “I’m not going to get in your way, but don’t you dare get into mine because… you might get knocked down, you might get stepped on on, you could run you over.’