“NO! STOP! NO!” Those were the last words I shouted before being struck violently by a car turning into my bike lane. The impact ripped my bike away and sent me bouncing and careening off the top of the car. Everything went into slow motion as I seemingly drifted to the ground while looking skyward. Then, I slammed onto the street, landing hard on my back, neck, and right arm and shoulder. The pain arrived instantly, searing through my neck and arm. Lying on my back and writhing in agony and shock, I looked to my right, certain that I would see my right hand in flames.
While citizen responders called 911 and offered me comfort, within minutes it happened. My legs slowly dropped to the ground. Like a tarp being removed from my body and taking with it all of my ability to feel and move, I knew something terrible had just happened. I stared into the eyes of a young woman supporting my head and said, “I can’t feel or move anything. My God, I’m paralyzed!” At that moment, I did not know if I would die or be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of my life.
Whisked away from the accident scene by ambulance to an awaiting life-flight helicopter, I was flown 30 miles to a trauma center. Diagnosed as quadriplegic and in spinal shock, my wife and I were told by the neurosurgeon that my chance for even the slightest recovery was less than 1%. I was destined for a lifetime in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.