Cathy’s story

April 10th 1994 I received the call all parents dread. My son was in a accident, and could I come to the hospital immediately. I was overwhelmed just by being called to the ER and facing the uncertainty of my son being injured. I call one of my friends to come get me, I as in no condition to drive , fearing for my son.

I walked into the ER, seeing a close friend there, the paramedic who had brought my son to the hospital. I looked at him and I knew this was not just a simple patch up , broken leg or arm.

There are doctors and nurses everywhere and everyone seems to be talking all at once. I saw a method to the chaos in the ER. Each person had a task and they work together to take the best possible care of my son.

Friends helped me track down my husband , and family.

I got to finely see my son. He was unconscious. All I could do is hold his hand and tell him things would be ok and mom was with him and loved him, hoping he might hear me.

They told us he would have to be flown to Vancouver to Children’s Hospital. My husband and I chose to drive down the next morning. We where there by 11 am. We walked into the room where my son was. I could not believe what I saw . Tubes coming out everywhere. My sons head looked like a large basketball. So round and swollen. Around him in the room where other children, all in different states of care, parents , doctors and nurses hovering about. I won?t go much more on this part, it is hard for me to write about.

A few days later my son woke up from a coma. He was violent, kicking and screaming. Did not know who anyone was or how he got there. We spent 2 week 24 / 7 with him taking shifts to watch over him. Trying to explain who we where and helping him relearn basic human functions like walking and talking. It was almost like having baby again, but he was 14 yrs old. We showed him pictures of his friends and family telling them how much they loved him and missed him.

Well I would guess you are wondering why I am telling you this, huh? Well it?s to try and not let other parents and children not go through this. My son was not wearing his bicycle helmet!!

He had it with him but was not wearing it. And I can say I do see many young kids and adults wearing them now , BECAUSE IT IS THE LAW!.

But I am addressing this to those who do not wear their helmet. I see so many adults riding there bikes and no helmets. Please think what you are doing. You may think you know what you are doing and are riding your bikes safe, but all it takes is one small mistake. You don?t see that car backing out of a driveway. Or like my son the driver didn’t see him at all until he was in front of her. She could not do any thing, and I do not blame her in any way. It was a accident that put my family in turmoil. Weather you be old or young, if you are in a accident it causes turmoil in the family.

Do you want to see your daughter or son or for them to see you lying in a hospital bed? Please wear your helmet !!!

And just to let you know my son did come home with us, but it took many years of rehab and care so he could live on his own. He is on a disability pension now at 28. It is very hard for him to deal with a lot of people at one time, he has no short term memory and fines it hard to get work to suit his disability.

So please think of his family and him, what we went through. Do you want that for your family.

Head injuries account for 75% of all deaths from bike injuries. Wearing a bike helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85%.

Over 100 Canadians die each year from bike injuries. Children aged 5 to 14 account for one third of these deaths.