Grand Rapids man thankful for life after crash

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man says he’s not concerned about birthday presents from family this year. He’s thankful to be alive.

Val Kudryavtsev says turning 35 is an answered prayer and he’s focused on the gift of life.

Kudryavtsev draws his strength from his loved ones as he works to recover from a motorcycle crash. He says a drunk driver slammed into him while he was on his motorcycle near Woodland Mall in May.

The crash forever changed his outlook on life.

“I’m alive,” Kudryavtsev said. “I lost my left leg above the knee.”

His mother, Tatyana Ford, helped throw a surprise birthday party for him.

“No change in (his) body can make our love less,” Ford said.

She not only invited family and close friends, she also invited surgeons like Dr. Gable Moffitt, who she says helped save Kudryavtsev’s life.

“He went through such a life change and we want to show continuing support and love for him,” Ford said.

Love was also felt from Kudryavtsev’s biological dad at the party through FaceTime.

His stepdad, Robert Ford, who’s known Kudryavtsev since he was 14, also showed love.

“We’re grateful to God that his life was spared,” Robert Ford said.

Considering his long road to recovery, this birthday is nothing short of a blessing.

“(I’m) trying to move forward (and I try) not to think about it because it only holds you back,” Kudryavtsev said.

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