My dad loves to ride his trike. It is sleek and fast and lets him zip around on the sidewalks and bike paths in Mansfield. Dad isn’t able to walk much, but he can really zoom on his trike. He tries to get a trike ride in every day when the weather is decent, averaging six miles or so at a time.
On one of his recent rides, Dad and his trike were hit by a truck. Dad was riding on the wide sidewalk / bike trail along Trimble Road. He stopped at the light to cross Marion Avenue. When the light turned green, and the walking man signal turned white, he started across the road. And got hit by a Spectrum truck that was turning right.
I got a phone call from my Mom saying Dad was heading by ambulance to the emergency room. She said there was blood everywhere and the trike was smashed. But she also said that Dad was talking and very concerned that someone help her load his trike in her minivan. Not the kind of phone call you want to get, but he was telling people what to do which meant he was alert mentally.
Tom was out riding his trike at the time, so when he returned we got in the car and headed to the emergency room in Mansfield. When we got there, Dad was sitting up and joking with the nurses, which was a relief. The ER folks cleaned him up and put some staples in the gash in his scalp. They x-rayed all his bones and did a cat scan of his head. No bleeding inside and nothing broken. It was a huge relief, especially as bloody as he was.
After a couple of hours in the ER they sent him home. Dad had to wear a hospital gown home because his shirt had been drenched with blood. He had staples in his head and bandages wound around his arm where the skin had torn. When we asked him how he was feeling he said he felt like he got hit by a truck.
We had planned on being in Mansfield that afternoon for a cancer research benefit. Mom bought a table and invited Dad, Tom, Julia, Betty Hissong, and me to sit with her. After all the excitement that afternoon, I was sure we would all stay home. Mom still wanted to go to the benefit. Dad kept insisting he felt good enough to go as well, but the rest of us insisted that he stay home. Tom stayed with him, trying to get him to rest.
Julia served as the chauffeur to dinner. The benefit was very nice and didn’t have long speeches like so many of those things do. Dinner was served buffet style, then the 20 minute speech, then a picture of the cancer survivors at the dinner. After that they were going to do games and have door prizes. We decided to head home instead of staying for the games. Mom was tired and anxious about Dad.
Tom had tried to get Dad to rest, but Dad was up and moving around most of the time we were gone. Neither Mom nor Dad stay still for very long, which may be a key to their longevity and relatively good health. Dad was more concerned about his trike than his own health. Tom and I agreed to take it in to Bicycle One for repairs. In order to do that, we borrowed Mom’s minivan and left the Prius in Mansfield.
We took the trike in to Bicycle One the next day and everyone there wanted to know what had happened. When they heard the story, they wanted to know how Dad was. We were pleased to be able to tell them he was bruised but not broken. After some evaluation by a mechanic, they felt a new wheel and tire rod might be all that would be needed. We left the trike there with the promise it would be done in about a week.
We got a call the next Tuesday, four days after we took it in to the shop, that the trike was ready. Tom and I picked it up from Bicycle One on Thursday and took it up to Dad on Friday. I’m not sure Mom wanted the trike back that fast, but Dad was really pleased to get it back. Dad bought a couple of safety flags to make him more visible and promised to wear his helmet when he was out on the road.
Dad is back to riding his trike every day when the weather allows. He is happy to be able to zoom around again. All of us are thankful that he has bounced back so well from the accident. It could have been so much worse.