Much like the rest of my life, this blog has been on pause for the last month while my body attempts to repair itself after a stupid crash in the Ozarks of Arkansas on April 4, 2014. I say that it was stupid because it could have been avoided, but it also could have been much worse.
The day started off great as eight Erik’s Road Team riders anticipated a beautiful 80-100 ride through the rolling hills of the Ozarks.
Spirits were up as we began tackling hill after hill.
However, after lunch we began descending Parthenon which has a few areas that approach 15% grade. From what I remember we were taking it relatively easy when my teammate washed-out and crashed head first into this guardrail. The last thing I remember is thinking how strange it was that he was crashing. I must have grabbed a little too much break to avoid him and washed-out myself. However, unlike my teammate, I was not stopped by the guardrail and flew into this creek below. I vaguely remember climbing out of this ditch, but nothing about the actual crash–thank goodness. I could feel the “crunch” in my left shoulder as I laid on the side of the road and waited for the ambulance. I also remember looking in my fallen teammate’s direction and seeing the blood pouring from his head.
After a short ambulance ride, we were both loaded into separate helicopters and taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO. I am still waiting to see how much of this $37,000 helicopter ride I am on the hook for?
After some X-Rays, stitches, and a CT Scan, I was released from the hospital with a full break of my left clavicle. My teammate spent the night as his condition was a little more unknown. He broke his C7 vertebrae, but it did not impact his spine–again–thank goodness.
Two days later we were set to leave our cabin in Ponca, AR and I had another teammate remove the 8 stitches in my melon to avoid at least some of the scaring.
For the next two weeks I did plenty of resting as I waited for surgery, but I had to spin the legs every now and again.
Surgery took place roughly two weeks from the time of the crash at Twin Cities Orthopedics. Dr. Lervick did an excellent job installing the plate and eleven screws.
This X-Ray is from one week after the surgery. As you can see, everything is nicely in place. I have since had a follow-up appointment six weeks after surgery and you can already see the healing taking place around the bone. I realize this accident could and should have been much worse, but it was still life changing in terms of how much I appreciate even the simple things in life–as well as the really important thing in life such as my family who were amazing through this entire ordeal.