Back in 2001 Chris Leatt was a registrar at the Western Cape’s Tygerberg Academic Hospital and halfway to qualifying as a neurosurgeon.Then came a life-changing event that was to thrust him into the very different world of protective gear for extreme sports.Leatt was witness to the death of Alan Selby, a motorcycle rider in an enduro (cross country) event. It was a week after his then four-year-old son Mathew had begun riding a bike and it made him determined to find a way of reducing the risk of major neck injuries.His solution was a neck brace. "Developing it took over my life," says Leatt. His dedication finally paid off in 2004, when the first commercial version of the brace was sold in SA."Looking back, our first neck brace was fairly primitive," says Leatt.And it had not come cheaply. "It cost us R14m to get the project up and running," says Leatt."We raised the money from family and friends on the understanding that we would obtain a listing on the US Nasdaq exchange, which ...

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