Collie local Shaun Pianta lost his eyesight after contracting a virus while whitewater rafting on holiday in Bali, Indonesia.
Damaging his optic nerve, he was blind within hours, and following a stint in hospital at the Australian Embassy, he was flown to Perth where he spent three weeks as an inpatient. During this time, he suffered complete kidney failure before making a full recovery after being put on dialysis.
An avid snowboarder before losing his sight, Shaun first discovered Para-alpine skiing in 2012 at a Disabled Wintersport expo in Melbourne. He signed up, and soon set himself the goal of becoming a Paralympian.
Unfortunately, in November 2014, Shaun suffered a horrific setback after breaking both his legs in a training run in Austria ahead of his international debut. Unable to walk, it was seven-and-a-half months before he returned to the slopes, three of those spent in a wheelchair.
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