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Friday, January 4, 2013

Report From a Survivor

Unlike Michael Rivas,  Stacey Floyd,  Kate Richardson and countless others Michael Montgomery lived to tell about his “accident” with a trucker who was clearly violating state law. Unfortunately, as is true in so many cases, there was no prosecution by the District Attorney General

 Michael is now working with Bike Walk Tennessee advocating for cyclists as we attempt to convince the justice system to take these cases more seriously. We thought an update from Michael on his situation would help all of us appreciate his  ordeal and the continuing need for BWT advocacy.

Michael Montgomery Update

February 19, 2013 will be the two-year anniversary of my bike wreck when I was hit in the designated cycle lane by a dump truck. When a 185 pound man on an 18 pound cycle gets hit by a fully loaded 37.5 TON dump truck, survival is not normally part of the outcome.

I had to be resuscitated at the scene, by my still unidentified “Angel” physician, and suffered broken ribs, back, shoulder, lacerated spleen, a Traumatic Brain Injury and a punctured lung. The most serious injury was the multiple pelvic fractures. 

During the first operation two days after the wreck, I bled out on the operating table, had 9 units of blood pumped into me and had to be resuscitated again. There were numerous complications and I had to have the surgery done again, at which point I had blood clot problems and a MRSA (drug resistant) infection. I spent several weeks in rehab at Vanderbilt Hospital and two more months in a nursing home and did not walk for almost five months. 

Nine months after the wreck I got back on a bike and finished the ride I started on February 19 for my first post wreck ride.

My new normal includes pain and stiffness most of the time for normal activities. The witness, bystanders, doctors and other health care professionals remind me what a miracle it is that I survived. As a Christian, I certainly now have an appreciation for miracles, and the power of prayer. I was so fortunate to have family locally to help, as well as cycling friends, church friends, and literally hundreds who I don’t even know, donate money and pray for me from all parts of the world.

What started as the worst day of my life has turned into the best day of my life in so many ways. I have learned how our insurance, medical, civil legal and criminal legal systems work (or don’t). I hope that no one would ever have to go through a similar ordeal. But I hope the knowledge I have gained from this experience will allow me to help others, if they are in a similar situation. I am happy to talk to anyone in a similar situation about what to expect, to do or not to do.

My thanks go to so many who were a part of the recovery process.


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