In 1975 Joseph Montemayor was a student at Harvard Elementary in the Heights. Like other kids of that era, he thought nothing of using the local train as a short cut to catch a ride to his house.
Joseph did this many times until one day he slipped and fell. He was caught beneath the train where he suffered the loss of both legs and most of his left arm.
Joseph remembers lying there by the tracks unable to move while the remainder of the train passed over him.
His panicked cries for help went unanswered!
The youngster became dependent on his mother and family for everything in his life from helping to eat to help going to the restroom to changing his clothes. Joe’s life was a constant series of ups and downs.
This led to his eventual incarceration in South Carolina. It was while he was in jail that he had a change of heart and knew he had to change his life. He lobbied the prison director for handicap facilities and was eventually awarded with most of what he requested.
Of course, he did threaten a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Today, Joseph is a book of inspiration. He now competes on a national level in Ice Sled Hockey and is recognized as being an Olympic-caliber player. He was invited to play in an exhibition game with the Boston Bruins and currently serves as a coach to kids at Memorial City Mall, where he is based.
HPOU has sponsored his competitive efforts for two years now and recently decided to help him as he competes on an international level.