Kyle Anderson takes his message out there!

It was two paragraphs in a newspaper: “teenager injured during snowboard maneuver at Blue Mountain.” Two paragraphs. But the life of then North Collegiate teenager Kyle Anderson (and the lives of his parents and sisters) was changed forever.

February 3, Kyle and his best friend, Charlie Harrison, Rollie Hunter and Tyler Ward drove to Blue from Barrie, hit the hills with their snowboards, lured almost daily by the halfpipe. Freestyle is Kyle’s game. The year was 2005. Kyle was 19. He was registered at Ottawa’s Algonquin College to take Graphic Design. He and Charlie were going to school together. His part time job at No Frills was helping with his snowboard passion. Its benefits package ended up helping Kyle get physiotherapy.

He had his helmet on that day but felt way too cool to do it up. It just sort of hung there off his head. After all, he was a lifelong snowboarder.

He gathered speed, took off on a jump, went into a trick and boom! Kyle landed on his head. His head smashed on the hard snow. The whiplash from the hit slammed his head onto the snow again. The helmet, loose as it was, saved his life.

The first hit gave him the brain injury, subsequent concussion, and loss of everything he knew. The helmet saved him from dying. Rush to Collingwood hospital and then by helicopter to Sunnybrook in Toronto, the frontal lobe of his brain was damaged. Kyle’s neurosurgeon operated to drain the fluid swelling his brain. He was in a coma and spent half a year at Sunnybrook, then back to Barrie and then into lifelong rehabilitation.

Imagine, if you can, a 19 year old baby. Kyle had to be toilet trained. He had to learn speech, just like when he was a baby. He learned how to sit, then how to stand, how to play in the bathtub, how to slowly form letters and then words, and then sentences.

He started all over again.

He sure couldn’t take on the learning complexity of Graphic Design at that point in his life. And so learning, learning, learning just how to be an adult person took a huge amount of time and energy. Kyle says his sisters (Crystal, now 29 and Victoria, now 24) were a huge help and very committed to his therapies.

Kyle’s mom works at RVH in health records. Kyle’s dad owns Carline Muffler.   It took the whole family.

Kyle’s mom is upfront about the result of the accident: “Kyle’s whole personality has changed. He used to be very quiet, very inwards, but now he’s so outgoing. Life has definitely changed for our family and our perspective is really different than it used to be. It’s brought us closer together… we sure don’t sweat the small stuff!

For Kyle his re-development has given more value to life. When he tried to snowboard again, he found he no longer had an appetite for it. And yet, he appreciates what’s happened.

An excellent communicator, Kyle loves being with people. He has huge compassion for seniors and when he returned recently from a medical conference in Ottawa, he brought real enthusiasm for taking his message to the world.

Right now, he’s writing his story. He’s filming it. He’s interviewed some of his friends and plans to post it on the internet. Kyle is starting a helmet awareness campaign so he can speak to people, especially to kids.

He plans to get into schools with his message and then take it to social media. “If a kid hears it from me rather than their mother, it’ll be a much more powerful message,” says Kyle. They’ll say, “I want to wear my helmet.”

Today, while the hills are full of snowboarders, Kyle is doing yoga. Every single day he does yoga.

“Everyone is so positive. The different stretches are amazing. It’s fast paced; it’s slow paced and just holding the poses makes me feel great.”

Kyle’s long range plans include a website, establishing a charity so he can raise money to travel and give his talks. His email is

And what about his best friend Charlie, who was going to Algonquin College with Kyle? Charlie’s a paramedic today.

Thanks, Kyle. Thanks for telling your story.