Jaco van Gass

British Paralympian, double Gold medallist, cycling sensation joins forces with COVVI

COVVI is both honoured and privileged to have met such an inspiring individual. We are extremely excited about working with Jaco, a former British soldier, and welcoming him to the COVVI patient advocate family.

Jaco hasn’t worn a multi-articulated hand for over a decade, but his interest was piqued when he was introduced to the Nexus Hand. He was drawn to the aesthetics, technology, functionality and was impressed as to how far COVVI had developed their prosthetic hand.

This is the start of his journey with the Nexus Hand.

Jaco Van Gass, Patient Advocate

South African born Jaco van Gass moved to the UK in 2006 aged 20 with the sole intention of joining the British Armed Forces. By mid 2007 Jaco had completed his basic training and joined the well respected Parachute Regiment. It was during Jaco’s second tour of Afghanistan, after 5 and a half months and with just 2 weeks to go when Jaco sustained severe life-changing injuries.

Jaco and his platoon were engaged by Enemy Forces and after an intense 45 minute firefight, Jaco was hit by an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade). The injuries included the loss of his left arm at the elbow, collapsed left lung, shrapnel wounds to left side, punctured internal organs, blast wounds to his left upper thigh, broken tibia and fractured knee.

Through intense rehabilitation and determination Jaco has overcome adversity and taken on the world. He has completed several marathons all over the world including the New York Marathon, Safaricom Kenya Marathon and the US Marine Corps Marathon raising money for various charities.

As a serviceman, patron of the charity and keen supporter of the forces, HRH Prince Harry joined Jaco and his team on their epic trek for 5 days and a two part documentary aired on BBC 1 (Harry’s Arctic Heroes). In October 2011 Jaco climbed the 8th highest mountain in the world Mt Manaslu (8164m) in the Himalayas and became the first South African to conquer this mountain.

More recently, Jaco has been a member of the GB Para-Cycling team, competing internationally at the World Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He has become a National Champion Cyclist on the road multiple times. Jaco raced in the Para-Cycling Track World Championships in March 2018 and won a bronze medal in the C4 4K Pursuit. In January 2020, he competed in the Track World Championships in Canada and became a Triple World Champion in the Kilo, Scratch and the Omnium. He went on to win two Gold Medals and one Bronze Medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

 

Jaco Van Gass, Patient Advocate
Jaco Van Gass, Patient Advocate

His COVVI journey is only just beginning.