Eleven years after losing his right arm in a motorbike accident, Martin Calleja, 58, has gone back to riding motorbikes, something he is passionate about.
This was made possible thanks to a group of bikers and mechanics who got to know that it was Calleja’s wish to drive a bike again and set about helping him achieve his goal.
The ringleader was Joe Tanti who is also passionate about motorbikes. Joe told TVM how the whole thing came about. He was in a garage with mechanic Clint Zahra, who was working on the motorbike of Sergeant Simon Schembri, and another person present said that he knew someone else who had also lost his arm, and as a result had not driven a motorbike for years.
Without a second thought, Joe offered to raise money and find sponsors to buy Martin a customized motorcycle, while Clint offered to modify the motorbike for him to be able to drive it.
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Their plan succeeded, and in addition to the money raised from a number of motorcyclists, they also found sponsors who gave them a discounted price on a bike and others who gave them a free helmet and other accessories. There was even money left over to pay for road license and insurance costs and for €200 worth of petrol.
Not only did Clint customise the bike for Martin, by placing the gas throttle on the other side, but also adapted the prosthetic arm to the motorbike.
It was emotional moment for all those who were there to see Martin driving the motorcycle for the first time after many years. It was an especially emotional moment for Martin himself, who could only ever dream about driving a motor cycle again.
See Martin riding the motorbike for the first time since losing his arm: