I was out on a training ride, riding the Gourmet Century route with Kyle on Friday. We stopped at the Helvetia Tavern and had a great lunch (that veggie burger is top notch) then rolled on down Helvetia Road.
We were both signaling to make a left on Phillips taking the full lane, when a truck accelerated behind us trying to pass on the double yellow. As we took the lane I turned to see the driver. He clearly knew we were there and as we started our turn I heard his engine rev full steam. Being hit by low lives many times before i knew diving off the road is your only choice. I dove left as it was the direction we were going and Kyle stayed right. My choice was apparently the wrong one as he was trying to pass in a no passing zone while we legally owned the lane in front of him. I was struck from behind at about 50 mph with him accelerating through my body.
From there, we aren’t entirely sure what happened. Kyle was trying to look back and keep his eyes forward while he stopped his bike. I am pretty sure the front left of his truck hit my left leg shattering it into pieces, I remember my rear wheel coming off and landing on my right side. I could see clearly under the truck body as he passed and thought “holy shit, this guy nearly ran me over”.
I know I popped up immediately, ready to knock some sense into him, then my leg spun unnaturally, buckled out from under me, and I fell back to the ground like the football player who had not yet realized he was hurt. I reached for my phone to call 911, and instantly knew my arm was gone too. It felt like it was just hanging there, unattached. I never lost consciousness and was coherent and alert the whole time.
The driver stopped right away and fortunately, 2 guys at the stop sign witnessed the entire accident and called Emergency Response right away. The one man started taking care of me right away, while Kyle called Erin, documented and talked to the driver. They gave statements to the police and stuck around till the bitter end. Turns out they work on the show Grimm, had a bike rack and delivered all our stuff back to the office too. Pretty rad dudes. Ward from River City stopped by for a visit too. Probably not what she wanted to see out on a solo ride.
Kyle rode with me to the hospital and worked hard to make sure I was taken care of. Since I was stable they took me to St Vincent’s, the nearest hospital, and Erin met me there. My leg had a modified splint so that was stabilized, but my arm was screaming all night.
They gave me some pain killers and took me for scans to clear my head and neck. After that I was able to take the neck brace off and they took me in for x-rays on my leg and arm – that was the most painful part.
The x-rays confirmed my lower leg (both bones) were fractured in two places, leaving a middle section, about 4 inches long, free floating. My arm was also broken clean through, but they said it would not require surgery because it was not separated. They would sling it to keep it stable and it would heal itself.
They recommended I be transferred to Emmanuel hospital’s trauma unit for the surgery on my leg, where they would be better equipped to monitor me for complications. They took the temporary splint off and set my leg at St Vincent’s before putting on the temporary plaster splint for another ambulance ride.
Once we got to Emmanuel, two lovely ER nurses buzzed around tag teaming more scans and tests and blood work until nearly midnight. The surgical resident ordered a 2nd view of the upper arm and found it is actually displaced about 1/4 inch and out of line, so they changed my treatment plan to include surgery on that too. They eventually admitted me to the unit around 1am and woke me up through the night every 2 hrs or so for vitals, pain meds, oxygen and heart monitors. Wires everywhere.
I was not allowed to eat or drink anything after the accident to be ready for surgery and I was finally taken in at about 2pm. They fixed my leg first by going in through my knee and placing a ti rod down the center of my tibia with screws to keep it from rotating on the top and bottom. It went really well, but they have been closely watching me for compartment syndrome. (I am apparently borderline on the pressure readings.)
As of now, the surgery for my arm is scheduled first thing Wednesday morning. If all works out well, we will be able to get out of this place on Thursday – homeward bound. Keep your fingers crossed.
I am so very grateful for all of our friends and family. The outpouring of support has been tremendous and I appreciate the well wishes more than you know.