On Thursday, April 24, 2014, I was in a very serious cycling accident in Boulder, Colorado while riding my new Cervélo S3 during the lunch hour and I am currently hospitalized in Denver, Colorado for at least the next 60 days.
Damage ReportIn the wreckage, I suffered 11 fractured ribs (10 on the left side, most in multiple places, and one on the right), fractures of the L3 and L4 spinal vertebrae, one collapsed/punctured lung, one deflated lung, a nasty laceration on my left hip that required stitches and loads of road rash all over my back and left hip from being run over. The worst part was being conscious through the entire ordeal, i.e., I knew I was being run over by a car.
Current StatusAfter undergoing emergency spinal surgery involving the insertion of hardware including mounting hardware, rods and screws to create a fusion from the L2 - L5 vertebrae and cleaning out much debris from various spinal process fractures that punctured the spinal dura, I am now able to control everything from the knees up. I do feel my feet and I can distinguish sharp vs. dull touches in some areas but I am not able to flex my feet/ankles or wiggle my toes at this time. After the surgery, I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Boulder Community Hospital for eight days. Since this time, I have been transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Craig is a world-renowned hospital for it's spinal and brain injury rehabilitation programs.
(For those who are curious, I'm told that the bike was left almost untouched. But I will certainly have my family take it to Excel Sports in Boulder to be fully evaluated. )
A Very Special Thank You
There is one guy who deserves a special thank you for his compassion for a stranger in distress. Gareth, your voice rescued me and got me through the initial accident and your clear thinking helped me more than you will ever know. After you visited me at the Boulder Hospital, I totally fell apart just because I heard your voice again. We will meet again, my brother.
Also, a special thank you to Mike O. for introducing Gareth and I after the accident. Thanks, buddy.
To My Family and FriendsMy wife Janene has truly been my rock through this entire ordeal. Never did she waver and, for me, the sun rises and sets with her. She and my girls have given me such strength when I needed it most. I am truly blessed with my family and friends.
My brother, Michael, was like a sentry -- by my side, from early morning until late into the night, supporting me in any way he could. I love you, Michael!
The moment my brother, my parents and my in-laws received the news of the accident, they packed their cars and hauled ass through the night 1000 miles to be by my side. I love you all so much and I could not have gotten this far without you. You are all amazing!
Thank you to my close friends for whom this experience only brought us closer. Karen, Dan, Anna, Sarah, and Sasha, I love you guys! Filip, you are very special to me and your dedication to visiting me and helping me keep my spirits high is stellar, thank you! Mike O., the chicken curry was delicious! Who knew this dude can cook *and* write code, thank you! Tim R., you have been my cycling buddy for a number of years and we were riding together the day of the accident just prior to its occurrence. You've stayed by me and met my family and helped in any way you can, thank you!
To all my friends and neighbors who immediately mobilized to provide my family with more delicious meals than they could possibly keep up with eating, you have really made us feel loved and watched over. Not only has Louisville, Colorado been ranked as one of the best places to live in the USA by Money Magazine for the last several years, the community of friends and neighbors is like an extended family -- you guys are the best!
Thank You To EveryoneThank you for all of your phone calls, emails, texts, tweets, concerns, hospital visits and well-wishes from everyone around the world. The level of compassion that I have experienced from near and far has been absolutely overwhelming for me. Please understand that I am not able to communicate directly with every single person simply due to the sheer volume of communications and the amount of time I am now spending doing rehab at Craig Hospital. I still get exhausted fairly easily doing rehab and just trying to live my life right now at Craig Hospital -- and this is coming from someone who could easily run 10 miles or ride 30+ miles at lunch just a couple weeks ago. This whole experience is absolutely flooding me emotionally and physically.
The Gory DetailsFor those who want more details as the shit went down, please see the Caring Bridge :: Bruce Snyder website set up my extraordinary friend Jamie Hogan. This website is where Janene has been posting updates about my experience since the beginning. I will be adding my experiences henceforth here on my blog as I travel the winding road of recovery.
ConclusionLife is precious and I am so very happy to be alive.
And please, please do not ever text and drive.