Travel Nurse: A Cycling Near-Tragedy

Last night I had a patient who competes nationally in bicycling competitions. I'm not sure what types of competitions he enters as I don't know much about the cycling world; other than Lance Armstrong owned the Tour de France before he retired and that the French hate American cyclists.

He had been biking without a helmet down one of the roads running through a local college campus when he was T-boned by a car going about 35 mph. His body went over the hood of the car, ricocheted off the windshield, over the roof of the car and onto the pavement. He said he recalled everything up until he hit the pavement. When he finally came to, there was a crowd gathered around him and blood was gushing from a deep cut extending about six inches from the side of his right eye upward to the edge of his hairline. The impact had almost taken his eyesight. His bike was about 40 feet away lying in a mangled clump of titanium.

All night he kept saying that if he had rotated just a few more inches while in the air he could have lost his eyesight or suffered sever brain damage. He said he never rides a bike without a helmet, but thought this one time as he rode on campus he would be alright.

All things considered, he was lucky. Very lucky.