Credits By: Gulf Cast
On a rain-soaked midnight in Beirut, a profound shift was about to unfold in the life of Lebanese personal trainer Jeremy Melkonian. The date was December 27, 2019, and fate’s hand had dealt him a shattering blow. Jeremy’s resolve was put to the ultimate test when he was sandwiched between two cars, with his right leg trapped in the wreckage and the acrid scent of leaking oil permeating the air.
Amid pain and peril, Jeremy silently vowed, “This will not be my end.”
As the danger of fire lurked and agony consumed him, his mind retreated to the moments that had led to this harrowing juncture. A routine drive had turned life-altering as a flat tire forced Jeremy to halt. In the blink of an eye, another car collided with his own, entrapping him in a nightmarish ordeal.
Summoning unwavering determination, Jeremy called every ounce of strength, pushing against the twisted metal imprisoning his leg. The pain was excruciating, but his decision to prevail overpowered the suffering. He broke free, propelling himself out of the wreckage against all odds.
“I don’t know where I found the strength,” Jeremy recollected, musing on that fateful night. Little did he realize that this visceral experience would mark the initiation of an extraordinary journey defined by unyielding spirit and resilience.
The hospital stay etched another memory as a doctor unveiled the heart-wrenching truth. “We have to do a BKA,” the words reverberated. Below-the-knee amputation (BKA) was inevitable, the only choice to spare Jeremy’s life. A 12-hour surgery sealed the fate of his right leg – an appendage once symbolic of power and agility in his career as a personal trainer – forever gone.
Losing a limb at 24 is a profound blow, yet Jeremy’s spirit refused to be shackled. Despite the odds, he asked the doctors if he could reclaim his career. Their incredulous looks only fueled his determination.
Amidst unimaginable adversity, Jeremy’s spirit remained indomitable. He was out of bed in just a month, embracing mobility with a prosthetic leg. Six months later, he resumed his workout regimen and embarked on the path of instructing personal training classes.
Yet, the aftermath of the accident brought its own set of challenges. The financial burden of medical bills and the cost of a prosthetic leg loomed heavily. Compounding the ordeal, the responsible party evaded legal consequences by fleeing to the US. Nonetheless, Jeremy found it within himself to forgive. “I forgive him,” he affirmed, a testament to his remarkable character.
Destiny intervened in April 2023, steering Jeremy toward a destination redefining his life’s trajectory. A visit to Dubai unveiled a city that embraced inclusivity, eradicating barriers and opening doors to boundless opportunities. The city’s support for disabled individuals left an indelible imprint on Jeremy’s heart, igniting a realization that he had discovered his new home.
“More than the towering skyscrapers and iconic attractions, what truly amazed me about Dubai was its unwavering support for people of determination,” Jeremy praised with genuine admiration. “Dubai’s ruler exemplifies exceptional care for its citizens, residents, and visitors, demonstrated through initiatives like the month-long, all-inclusive fitness challenge led by the Crown Prince himself.”
The resonance was profound, a calling that Jeremy could not ignore.
Months later, armed with a mere few hundred dirhams and a persistent dream, Jeremy bid farewell to Lebanon, making Dubai his permanent abode. Determined to fulfill his aspirations, he seamlessly integrated himself into the vibrant fitness community, swiftly becoming a beacon of inspiration. Through his unwavering spirit, he forged connections with various gyms and garnered a growing clientele of eager individuals seeking transformation.
Voice-over artist Ahmed Haffar, who crossed paths with Jeremy on a flight, attested to their instant rapport. “Jeremy is not just a personal trainer; he is living proof of the resilience of the human spirit. His story is incredibly inspiring.”
Though still acclimatizing to his new surroundings, Jeremy is thriving. “I’ve begun acquiring customers around my residence in Jumeirah Beach Residence and even had the privilege to deliver motivational talks, including a podcast.”
In the early stages of this chapter, Jeremy anticipates what the future holds with eagerness. Dubai is now his sanctuary, where his dreams intertwine with reality. “The people are remarkable, and the disability-friendly environment has provided me with the platform to defy all odds and chase my aspirations. I’m thankful for the opportunities Dubai has bestowed upon me, and I’m committed to continually inspiring others to triumph over their challenges.”