This is has been an unbelievable three plus weeks. We have gone through things that I never imagined would ever happen to me. I have been a cyclist for some 17 years. I have always heard that, as a cyclist, it is not if but when you have an accident. Being invincible, I thought it would never happen to me, but as you all know, it did.
People have asked me exactly what happened, so allow me to briefly tell you. On Tuesday, August 12th, one of my riding partners and good friend, Stuart Reid, and I went out for a normal training ride. Ironically, Stuart had broken his wrist back in July and had not ridden in weeks. That morning was to be his first time back on the bike in some 5 weeks. Stuart and I headed out at 5:30 a.m. that morning riding down Main street in Jonesboro. We hit Highland and headed out. We had very little traffic that morning as we headed east towards the rising sun. We passed the mall, crossed the railroad tracks at Nettleton, and were headed out towards the industrial park. After we passed all the factories, Stuart made a comment about the ride. I responded about what a nice morning it was to ride. After that, all I remember was seeing my horizon spining. I never felt the impact – all I felt was my body tumbling. When I finally stopped rolling, I found myself lying on my back on my right side. I was lying on my cellphone, and I found myself trying to find a way to get it out in order to call my wife, my boss to let him know I would not be at work that day, and my partners to let them know what I had planned that day. Stuart came running back to me asking me if I was okay. All I wanted to know was what had happened! I did not know why I was lying on the ground. He informed me that we had been hit by a truck. The pain then quickly set in! Stuart called my wife and an ambulance. I was so glad that he was with me. He took care of the details. The truck had ripped me out of my pedals leaving me some distance from my bike. I had lost my left shoe, leaving me with a scraped up foot.
You now know the result of my accident: my back, hip, my toe, and wound. I am so glad that I wore my helmet that morning. Stacey has taken some pictures of it. If I had not worn it, I would have died. We are not sure, but we think that the truck’s sideview mirror hit me in the back of the head. Had I not had that helmet on, the speed of the truck would have ensured that the impact would have killed me.
My injuries are healing. We went to have my wound checked today, and Stacey noticed immediately the healing that has taken place over the past week. The doctor thinks that we might be able to take me off the wound vac in a week or two. That will be one less tube and device to mess with. I go to see the spine doctors on September 15th and back to the orthopedic clinic on September 30th, both in Memphis. We are amazed at how God has allowed me to regain some of my strength and stamina as well as how I am healing.
I would like to thank everybody for your prayers, cards, letters, money, flowers, plants, food, phone calls, visits, love, and support. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love my family has felt from everyone. We could never put into words the gratitude we have for all the things people have done for us. We have been amazed how God has taken this simple blog that Stacey has had for the past 2 years, and used it to keep everybody updated on the latest in this situation. It has also allowed me to keep up with many of you. I have read every comment. Each night in the hospital, I would read everything written. It allowed me to keep in touch with all my friends.
As I have gone in and out of a couple of doctor’s offices here in Jonesboro as a patient, it has been so good to see so many of the nurses, office staff, and physicians who I consider my friends. I miss seeing you and cannot wait to put my tie back on get back to work to visit with you.
Finally, I would like to agree with many of the comments written about my wife: Stacey is an amazing person. I do remember hearing the doctor in the ER informing her that I could die. She handled the news with grace. I remember her coming in to see me for the first time in the trauma center in Memphis. I looked pretty bad, but she was strong for me. As I healed from the surgeries, she drove back and forth being both mom and wife. I cannot do anything without her. I depend on her for everything. She has handled this new role with grace and strength. It has reminded me of the vows we made some 17 years ago “in sickness and health”. I never imagined what that could mean! I never thought it would be me, but she has kept that promise. I love her and appreciate all she has done!