Elisabeth Easther talks to an adaptive skier and chain-fitter at The Remarkables
I'm from America, born and raised on the east coast in Connecticut - a little place called Tolland, between Boston and New York - and our holidays were mainly about outdoorsy stuff. In summer we were hiking and camping, and in winter we were skiing. The first time I saw a moose I was about 8: I also simultaneously stood in a beehive. So I'm trying not to move and hoping the bees don't sting me and this moose is at least three metres tall, with huge antlers. I was kind of stuck there in awe and Dad scooped me up and ran. I got stung a couple of times, once on my eye and my mom said that same-old same old mom thing: "Boys will be boys".
My first holiday without my parents, I was 18 and went to Florida with friends. We went down to Panama City Beach and it was the most cramped, uncomfortable 24-hour car ride of my life, six people in a five-seater car. Having to switch drivers, with everyone wanting to get their sleep, whoever was driving would blast cold air in our faces to stay awake. But I hadn't been to Florida before - the beaches where I'm from are like English beaches, rocky with cold water, so Florida was like the tropics and everyone was out to party.
In 2013, I was 21, still living in Connecticut and I was late for my landscaping job and my motorcycle wouldn't start. I had to roll start it and, being late, I started going too fast.
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Coming round a corner, I went off the road and hit this huge boulder. I was in a medically-induced coma for a month and when I woke up my family weren't sure how to tell me I'd lost my leg and for a week I didn't know. But I've always been into sport and have come back from lots of injuries.
After the accident, my eyes opened to travelling when I visited my brother in Vermont. He was a ski patroller up there, working with all these people from around the world and they all just travelled around, following the snow. I met an Australian girl who was working at our mountain and she said she could get us jobs, so at 23 I did my first ski season in Australia. Before I left I was so excited, I'd never left America, but I like meeting new people and am pretty sociable.
I was skiing at Perisher on my birthday when I saw another one-legged skier, which is very rare. There are only about 10 in the world. He let me use his outriggers, like crutches with skis. Then five months later, in Byron Bay, this guy's son recognised me and we talked and it turned out his dad had just become the world champion one-legged surfer in California. So I went surfing with him in Byron Bay. His name is Mark Stewart, nickname's "Mono" and he lost his leg around the same age as me. Seeing him at his age - successful, with a family, living the dream - that was so cool.
I'm currently a chain fitter at The Remarkables, working with the roads crew, and when I'm not working, I'm training. This is my second season here and they have been so supportive. They sponsor my visa, provide my season pass - they even did a fundraiser the other day to go towards my racing. And I know, wherever I go, I'll always have a home here in New Zealand.
For the future? I want to be the best one-legged skier I can be - maybe the best in world.
I know how much work is needed for that level but if I train hard and stay healthy, I hope to represent my country next year at the Paralympics. I met up with the New Zealand team in Cardrona just this weekend and it looks like I could have a chance. And if I do qualify, which looks likely, the American team will take me, but we'll see. This injury really opened my eyes, and I've decided to just go for it, to do whatever makes me happier than the day before - to just do it.
Patrick is raising money to fund his dreams of becoming a world champion. To find out more, go to gofundme.com/powerhouse-rad-com