It’s been just over a year since six-year-old Cooper Tidmarsh lost his right foot in a lawnmower accident, and he’s using the experience to help other kids understand why it’s important to keep safety in mind.
“My dad was driving the lawnmower and my sister was on his lap. He backed up and I was behind him and I got my leg ran over. My favourite shoes were gone,” the young boy said.
Cooper’s father, Tavis Tidmarsh, says it’s been a tough year emotionally on the family, but he says he’s learned to cope with the guilt.
“I think if you have the right outlook—even when bad things happen—you are able to make positive things happen,” he said.
Last month, Cooper was named the War Amps 2016 National Safety Ambassador. He wants to share his story with other kids across Canada about the importance of playing safe.
“It means don’t go near stuff that is dangerous.”
Tavis Tidmarsh says he now understands how other adults feel after accidents involving kids.
“You can relate to the pain that a parent feels when something like that happens. You don’t think it’s going to happen to you and then it does,” Tidmarsh explained.
In July, Cooper joined the Edmonton Eskimos at the Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium to film this year’s War Amps Play Safe public service announcement.
Cooper says his and the players had a lot of fun filming the PSA while also spreading a powerful message that will reach thousands of people across the country.
The accident hasn’t kept Cooper from wanting to be active: this winter he wants to start snowboarding and has even picked a snowboard print for his prosthetic.