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Warning: this is a graphic post–not the pictures, just the content. I felt like I needed to write this as soon as possible to get it out of my head and start my own healing. My intentions aren’t to scare anyone but this is what I went through on Saturday when Adelaide was almost killed by an inattentive driver.
I’ve been planning a blog post for a few weeks now, letting the exciting incidents of my life build so I have material to work with. It’s my usual routine, especially when there aren’t race reports to write. With a number of writeable things going on of late, I figured I had plenty of options 1) Adelaide and I got mountain bikes 2) I saw three black bears on a mountain bike ride the other day 3) I got on a bike team for 2015 4) I saw a house burn down while on a run with Maybellene. A baby was killed in the fire.
The third option, when nothing comes up worth writing about, is to let my anger build over any number of random issues for a good rant.
The following is a story about the worst day of my life, by far.
Adelaide and I woke to a brisk but sunny day on Saturday. Maybellene was super excited to be up and running around as usual. Adelaide took her to the dog park while I was still asleep. After a pancake breakfast, which is our tradition for weekend rides, we met up with friends at Amante for the ride. Adelaide, the only one with an actual race to train for, parted from us early on, going north up highway 36 to Lyons as we went up to Ward. Her iron-distance triathlon was three weeks away and she needed a couple more weekends of long, hard, flat rides to prepare her for the 112 miles she’d encounter down at Lake Havasu on November 8th. Her running and riding form were coming along really well and she was shooting for a sub 11-hour race. Swimming is a non issue for her. She barely even needs to train for it.
The rest of us went at a leisurely pace for a while until I got a branch stuck in my front wheel, which required a brief stop. Matt decided an attack was in order right afterwards, since we’d both been complaining about the slow pace. Liam and I slowly towed him back, then pulled the plug well before that last steep pitch to the water pump. There, we all regrouped. They began the climb up to Brainard Lake and I said goodbye to head off down the mountain and reconnect with Adelaide, who would have been on the second of four 24-mile laps.
With me doing the lap in reverse, we had planned on meeting along the way. Being slow and tired from too much mountain biking and running, I planned to draft off her for a lap then head home to eat, take Maybellene for a walk or to the dog park, and work on the sponsor packet for the Carter Lake road race. A trip to Sprouts for dinner groceries was also in order.
I started to feel the day’s effort in my legs about three hours in. I should have seen her by then too. Her bike wasn’t at the Hygiene store, where she said to look just in case she had stopped for water. She drinks approximately 31 bottles an hour during rides. Zero throughout the rest of the day.
I kept going and took a left on 66 towards Lyons, fairly certain I wasn’t going to see her. Maybe she’d gotten tired early and only did one lap. Or she did a different route completely. I’m not one to worry too much. I was mainly thinking of how hungry I was getting since I’d only brought a small bit of food and the ride was approaching 3.5 hours. My mind drifted for a little while. I had a 15K trail race the next day. Four hours of riding wasn’t going to be the best preparation. Whatever, it was just a practice race anyways. I turned south on 36 towards home.
15 minutes later, as I climbed one of the rollers, I saw an Osmo bottle with a strange yellow lid sitting in the ditch. I recognized it as one of the bottles I’d filled that morning for Adelaide. She doesn’t leave bottles when they’re dropped. I looked up to the left, just now getting to the intersection of Hygiene Rd and Hwy 36 and saw two police cars and some people standing in the grass by the side of the road. It reminded me of a scene I’d come across on my way to Sprouts two days before: Emergency vehicles and a crumpled bike. I’d stopped then to see if anyone was seriously injured, just out of my own curiosity. This time, as I pulled across the road to the police car, I was suddenly very worried.
I asked what happened, if a cyclist was hit, was it a girl, what did her bike look like, what was her name, hair color. He gave me the bike’s description, not hers. He hadn’t seen her and the injuries to her face were substantial, which to me meant that she’d been unrecognizable. She hadn’t been able to give her name, he said. Those last two details made my stomach churn and my heart race. He didn’t have details about her hair color or who she was. He was the crash scene investigator. The female cyclist was taken to the hospital at 12:00. It was now 1:34. If it was Adelaide, she’d probably just started her second lap at that point, so the timing looked right. Or very wrong.
Since the bike he described matched hers and the bottle on the other side of the road looked exactly like hers, I didn’t want to take the chance of it not being her, so I asked for a ride in his car to the hospital (Longmont United). My bike wouldn’t fit. I said I’d leave it in the bushes. While walking it over to dump it off I asked the three civilians standing there what had happened, and if any of them was the driver. One guy said yes. I asked for a description of what she looked like and another guy said he thought her name had been Adelaide.
I paused for a moment, letting the shock hit me. Serious facial trauma and she hadn’t given her name, meaning that she was unconscious or dead (I assumed someone else riding near her had ID’d her and that she hadn’t told her name herself). The officer said she’d gone through the driver’s side window while traveling north on 36 and that the car had pulled out abruptly into the road in front of her to take a left turn. She’d T-boned it. Highway 36, which is the most popular training road in Boulder and had hundreds of cyclists on it that day, is straight at this intersection. So her coming around a corner or him not being able to see her was not the issue.
It’s the sort of “accident” that almost happens every day. It happens when drivers like this one feel just in gambling with a cyclist’s life in order to save five seconds of their precious time. Adelaide had almost been hit last week when someone did this to her while she was commuting home from work.
Note: we later found out that the driver, Russell D Rosh, a Process Engineer at Western Electronics, has a long rap sheet of negligent driving, having caused four previous crashes, driving while impaired, multiple counts of careless driving, driving down the wrong way on a one-way street, a half dozen speeding tickets, and a 7-year ban on his license from 1982 to 1989. In total, a count of 18 serious traffic violations. And that’s just in Colorado. Why do we continue to let people like him behind the wheel of a car? How many “accidents” will it take and how many people does he have to leave maimed and dead on the road for him to lose his privilege to drive? The past four decades show that he will never change.
I turned to the driver and screamed at him and took a half lunge toward him as he stepped back. I stopped myself from doing anything and the police officer stepped between us. My worry was far greater than my rage. I needed to get to the hospital.
I frantically jumped back on my bike and the police officer, who had to stay at the scene with the driver, yelled out some directions for me as I went. I began screaming again a few moments later, now crying uncontrollably as well. Sobbing uncontrollably. Screaming without expletives, or words at all, for the entire ride to Longmont. I thought she’d be dead or paralyzed when I got there.
During that awful ride I felt guilt for getting her into bike racing, guilt for leaving her to ride alone while I went up to Ward, guilt for departing Amante at the exact time that would put Adelaide in the path of that car. I began regretting all sorts of little and big things. Had I given her a hug that morning? I couldn’t remember. If I hadn’t, why hadn’t I? I regretted the tiny argument that we’d gotten into a few days earlier, which was really just a debate about how to solve the income gap between whites and blacks. Mainly I regretted not having asked her to marry me yet. Now I knew I wouldn’t have the chance. I imagined a future without her and knew I’d be better off dead too.
I was convinced she was dead from the way the officer had described the collision and her injuries. This must be a dream. This must be a dream. This must be a fucking dream. I was trying to ride as fast as I could but I was crying and screaming too much to get enough air in my lungs. I blew through every stop sign and red light, thinking of how funny it would be if I ended up in the hospital bed next to her.
When I got to Longmont United I dismounted and ran my bike in through the front doors asking where the emergency room was. The next 10 minutes would be the most stressful, horrible of my life. Finding out that it was Adelaide at the crash site and the ride to the hospital were absolutely the worst I’d ever experienced, but now was when I’d get the bad news I knew I wasn’t prepared to receive.
Someone chaperoned me to the ER, hugging my shoulder as we walked through the hall. She asked me what had happened but I couldn’t respond. So she just rubbed my back. I left my bike at the front desk of the ER and they quickly took me off to a private room to discuss Adelaide’s condition.
The doctor started off right away with the good news. She was alive, she had no damage to any of her limbs, spine, or brain. She was talking and somewhat coherent when she came in. That was the good news. The bad news was that all the injuries she sustained were to her face, which had literally been torn off.
He said almost every bone in her face had been broken. Her cheek bone, nose, eye socket, septum, her jaw in numerous places. Everything. The flesh from her upper right lip to her left shoulder had been ripped completely open. Through the tears in my eyes I could see tears even in his. He gave me a long embrace.
They took me in to see her briefly. She was sedated and unconscious, with a room full of doctors and nurses using a hand held pump to make her breath. Her face was mostly covered up and I couldn’t see much of her. I reached for her hand, which was coated in dried blood. It was cold. Pale white under the red stains.
One of her surgeons, Dr. Leonard, arrived and we met briefly before I was taken out of the room and back to the ER center desk area so I could use a computer and look up contact information. I didn’t have a phone on me. The next hour was spent signing forms for the surgery that she was about to have, another form for the anesthesiologist, general information about Adelaide including our address, contact information, insurance, etc, most of which I didn’t have or couldn’t remember. I talked to the same police officer, Officer Wise, who’d been investigating the crash. He discussed with me how he thought it might have happened. He and some of his colleagues had been out searching for me and had been worried. The hospital Chaplain, a gentle motherly woman named Laura, was with me the entire time, bringing pretzels, socks with rubber grippers so I could get out of my cycling shoes, and cup after cup of ice water. I was freezing cold but didn’t have the wherewithal to do anything about it. I had bonked, was in shock, knew I needed to eat but still couldn’t get the pretzels in my hand, let alone my mouth. I spilled most on the ground, then got distracted by the half dozen people with forms and questions for me. All this while I sat at someone’s desk, using an ipad to access facebook and search for someone’s number I could call.
I finally managed to get a hold of my brother Galen, who gave me the cell numbers for Lydia (Adelaide’s sister) and Jeff (Lydia’s fiance). And Adelaide’s mom, Kathleen. Galen hung up and set about getting some things together for me like clothes and food. He and Joslynn, Galen’s girlfriend, were soon on their way.
I left some absolutely terrifying voicemails on everyone’s phone before getting a hold of Kathleen. I could hardly speak at first, knowing very well that my inability to get the whole message out was scaring her more than it should have but I couldn’t help it. I spat it out eventually and finally my job was done. Kathleen would fly in from Pittsburg early next morning. Lydia and Jeff were on their way. Galen and Jos were on their way.
Laura, the Chaplain, took me to the O.R. waiting room, doing her best to console me. She gave me some blankets and she talked to me about a few random little things for a while to get my mind off the situation until Galen and Jos came. They gave me bear hugs and Laura showed me to a bizarre, single-person bathroom with a random bathtub in it. I’d told her I was freezing cold and needed a shower to warm up. I soaked in the tub and cried while drinking a San Pelegrino lemonade and some protein mix that Galen had brought. Later I had a smashed, cold, Square Burrito that Galen had jokingly offered me that morning as we left Amante for the ride. I cracked a smile when I first saw it. Then continued breathlessly sobbing.
Jeff and Lydia showed up shortly after I was out of the bath, warmly dressed in street clothes and puffy jacket. I felt a bit better. Just being warm with some sugar in me was the biggest thing to get out of the state of shock that I’d been in. To be truthful I’m still in shock days later, but once I finally had a grasp on the situation and friends and family were around, it made a world of difference. Having other people there felt amazing. I’d never felt so alone on that ride to the hospital and the hour and a half I spent there before anyone else arrived.
She would live. She would walk and talk and run again. That’s what mattered.
We spent the next eight hours waiting for Adelaide to get out of her first surgery, which was just stitching her back up. The facial reconstruction (bone repairs) would occur later in the week. Her surgeon, Dr. Schmid, came in once to give us an update a few hours in (I think). I was pretty out of it. One of the assistant surgeons or nurses came in a few times to tell us news. At 9:00, Galen, Jos, and I ate at Wahoos while Jeff and Lydia ate next door at Noodles & Company. We went back to the hospital to wait more.
I could barely keep my eyes open from the fatigue and stress of the day. I’d started writing this blog post earlier that afternoon but I was too tired and dazed to write any more. My eyes were incredibly red and dried out and stinging from so many tears. When Adelaide gets really upset about something, like girls do, she tells me she actually gets dehydrated from crying. I never really believed her. Now I know how it feels. I drank liters of water. Cup after cup after cup. I was thirsty to obsession.
Finally, after seven hours of surgery and another hour of waiting to hear how it went, Dr. Schmid came in. He said it had gone really well. All of the tissue had been salvageable and the blood flow to the upper lip was okay. The lip had been hanging on by a thread. Miraculously, none of her vital nerves had been severed in the crash. There had been just a millimeter to spare. It seemed like her eyes were going to be okay as well. Her tongue had been bitten in half, length-wise and also a chunk had been bitten off entirely but she would keep the majority of it.
He showed us pictures to prepare us–both before and after pictures. I couldn’t look at the before pictures for very long. They were truly horrid. The most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. It looked like her jaw was completely gone, because it was. How had she been able to talk at all? I couldn’t imagine the pain she was in before she got to the hospital. Hollywood torture scenes would be nothing compared to that. Nothing. Her face was gone.
I came back when he revealed the after pictures, showing a stitched-up Adelaide, looking mostly alive again. He scrolled through the camera to a picture of his daughter by accident, then backed up one to Adelaide again with hundreds of stitches in her face, eyes swollen shut, unconscious. What world was this? Is this even real? Am I really awake?
They took us in to see her at last, I broke down immediately again. She’d been completely fine and cheerful that morning. Now this. Her breathing apparatus was pumping away. Tubes came out of her arms from every vein. Her tongue, sticking out past her broken teeth, made for an almost amused look when combined with the somewhat smiling expression on her face (to me anyways). It only looked that way because of how the breathing tube was positioned, pulling her mouth up in a half smile. Her face and neck were covered in thick black stitches and slathered in antibacterial ointment and blood. Her eyes were taped shut and were completely swollen black and blue. Her limbs, hands, and feet, and of course her face, were all swollen and almost unrecognizable. Her hair was red from blood and antiseptic. She was pale. I felt her hand. This time it was warm.
Dr. Schmid and his team had done an amazing job despite the pitiful state she appeared to be in. Every one of his colleagues had mentioned how talented he was and how lucky we were that he was the one doing the procedure. I felt like that’s something they always tell you, but I let myself believe it. And I still do.
We squeezed Adelaide’s hands, gently stroked her legs, and quietly talked to her. They said she could probably hear us, but of course she couldn’t respond due to the breathing tube and the injuries. The coma-like state that the drugs put her in would make it seem almost like a dream to her and she wouldn’t remember any of this. She probably wouldn’t remember anything for the next week or more.
She squeezed my hand back, very hard. Surprisingly hard. I knew she was with us. She came to more and more, and even nodded yes a few times to questions. In particular to the comment about us getting her a Vitamix. We spent about 40 minutes with her and it was time to go since she was becoming too agitated. When everyone had left the room, I asked her an important question that I know I’ll have to re-ask in a few weeks since she won’t remember. Then I told her I was going to leave and she freaked out, her arm restraints easily held her weak limbs down. I stepped out to tell Lydia and Jeff that I was going to stay. In the end I decided to lie and tell Adelaide that I’d just be waiting outside her room and that I’d see her in the morning. That calmed her down again. Having me in the room with her or outside down the hall in the ICU guest sleeping room would do neither of us any good. We both needed rest.
I got home and into bed at 1AM with Maybellene, who was allowed to sleep in bed with me so she could lick away my tears as I drifted off in a nightmarish sleep.
Photo credit for this last one: D2 photography
Edited 5/15/2015: The driver, Russell D Rosh, fought tooth and nail to avoid any punishment, blatantly lying to the police and authorities about what actually occurred. He has gone so far as to make up an entirely different narrative, placing the blame on Adelaide and others, despite all the evidence and eye-witnesses showing that he was solely at fault.
On top of that, Rosh offered no assistance when Adelaide was bleeding to death on the pavement. He has never issued an apology to Adelaide. He continued to delay his court dates numerous times, which caused Adelaide and our families to suffer needlessly more. And on top if it all, justice was not served. Our society believes that driving is a right as apposed to a privilege, no matter how dangerous and careless you go about it. Despite his long history of irresponsible, careless driving and disregard for others, he was given community service and a small fine. He will continue driving.
I don’t know how people like him live with themselves. My conscience would tear me apart. Instead of showing remorse, accepting blame, and realizing that he is unfit to operate a vehicle, this man fights, lies, and points his finger at others.
Be careful on the roads, because he and millions more like him are out there texting, running stop signs, and making their time more of a priority than your life. And the law is powerless to stop them. Powerless to protect you, your wife, and your children.
171 thoughts on “Adelaide”
Thinking of you, Kennett, as well as Adelaide. I’m so sorry that she was involved in this totally needless accident, and I am so glad that she survived. She is lucky to have you there with her. Keep being with her, and take care of yourself when you can. She needs you to be well, too. Sending her thoughts of fast healing and best wishes.
Wow, that’s awful. I cycle that road all the time and it could have been any one of us in your shoes or worse, Adelaide’s. Best of luck to her and you and the whole Perr family in getting things back to normal.
I’m so sorry, hombre! I’ll be thinking about the two of you. My family all live right around there, and I’ll volunteer them if you guys need anything.
I’m so sorry Kennett. I’m crying for and with you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
Sending nothing but my deepest of positive thoughts for Adelaide, her family & friends,
I will keep both you and Adelaide in my prayers as you go through this.
Sorry to hear this happened. But one word about an item I carry always, RoadID Interactive. It has Doctor, medical and insurance info as well as contact numbers. The info would be available to first responders as well as the medical team.
Hope to hear of your friends recovery and return to the sports we all love.
My heart breaks for you, best wishes to Adelaide in her recovery. There will be days where she needs your strength and support more than you will know and I’m sure you will be there to provide it, be strong for both of you.
Hi Kennett, I just read this story. I am the US sales manager for Lazer helmets. I am sorry to hear about Adelaide’s accident. As a cyclist and the wife of a cyclist, it was a difficult story to read as we all worry when our partners ride. I am sorry for how hard it’s all been. I noticed she’s a Lazer wearer, and when she’s ready, please contact me and we will get her back up and riding with a new helmet and sunglasses. Maybe we can send something now that will help inspire her to want to get back out there as she heals. Please let me know.
Lazer Sport USA
Godspeed to a healthy recovery
Prayers, good vibes, and best wishes to Adelaide and you.
I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through…. hang in there & keep your head up! wishing you guys the best !
Wow. Much love and light to you both. I don’t know you, but we cyclists are all friends. Strength to you!
This is Bob Herrfeldt from The Ranch and Larimer County. I was so saddened when I received this from my friend Chris Johnson. Please know that Chris, Gael and I are praying for you and Adelaide. Please pass on our care and concern to her and let us know if there is anything we can do to help.
We are so very sorry this happened, we all love to ride so much that we never think this will happen, but it is the risk we take.
Again, please know we are thinking about her well being.
All the best
Reblogged this on The Navy Life of A Pilot's Wife and commented:
Kennett, I hope it’s okay that I reblog this. This post, written by my friend Kennett, is extremely powerful and important to read. His girlfriend, the lovely Adelaide, was the victim of distracted/careless/selfish driving. A driver literally ripped her face off her head when he hit her. She went through a window of his car. She could have died. I urge you, all of you, to read this and remember the power you wield while driving. You can murder someone quickly, easily, and with absolutely no thought. It’s paramount that we stay FOCUSED while driving and do our best. Texts, Facebook, phone calls, your baby crying in the backseat, and other distractions pale in comparison with the importance of preserving life. Could you forgive yourself if you murdered someone because you were distracted?
Kennett, please give Adelaide our best. Take care & know that we’re thinking of both you & Adelaide.
I read your post from a FB link. I feel so bad for her and hope she heals quickly. I have a bike accident case with a client who had major facial trauma and after several surgeries both plastic and dental, she appears whole again. I know it is traumatic and I hope you both get over the mental distress of such a terrible ordeal. Saint Louis, Missouri sends our love, prayers and positive vibes.
I wish all the best for her. God bless her.
God and Jesus. Keep letting Maybellene help you heal. My heart goes out to you. I have no other words.
We don’t know one another. A friend and fellow cyclist shared your story on FB. We have a very tight bike community here in San Francisco, and in Marin, and the East Bay as well. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you sharing this. I am having trouble thinking of what else to say. My heart goes out to you, your family and friends. Thank God Adelaide is alive, and God bless you both. Your love for her is evident in your well-written story, as is her obvious strength and passion for life. I look forward to reading an update on how both of you are doing, and wish you a long, happy and healthy life together.
Thanks for sharing this with the world, and I’m so sorry for the experience. I wish Adelaide the best luck ever in recovering. I’ve been through a horrendous cycling crash with a truck, during a race. It took 4 years to recover, but I’m happy and cycling again in Boulder. Adelaide will come back strong, with a new perspective on her life, and hopefully with forgiveness in her heart and the ability to move on. Best of luck to you both.
My heart goes out to Adelaide and yourself family and mates having sustained many injuries as a bike messenger nothing angers more than assault of some 1800 hundred lbs of steel by a reckless driver hoping the best for everyone
My thoughts are with you both. I’m so sorry this happened and I wish you a speedy recovery. I also hope the driver is punished to the fullest extent the law allows. I’ve been hit before and cars just don’t respect cyclists.
Many thoughts and prayers are with you and Adelaide right now. Adelaide is one of my friends from the blues dancing community. She truly is an amazing person and she is blessed for having someone so loving to be by her side during this time. I am praying for her fast recovery so we can share another dance together. Noah Nethero
Man, it’s tough to imagine what you two are going through. Prayers for Adelaide for a speedy recovery.
I am so sorry that she and you had to experience this. I don’t pray but you are in my thoughts. None of this was your fault. The emotions that one goes through in an event like this are beyond intense. She has a challenging recovery ahead from this trauma and so do you.
You have a community of riders here in MN that will help in any way we can. Keep blogging. We are reading.
Best wishes and godspeed.
i really feel it for you. Good luck with everything and stay strong.
My thoughts are with you and Adelaide. Sounds like she is a fighter and a very strong woman who will come back stronger than ever. I will share this with my fellow cyclist friends and dedicate upcoming rides to her.
Please keep us updated. I hope everything works out for the better. I beg you to find someone who does low level laser therapy.
It will do wonders for the tissue damage, nerve damage, and scaring.
I just read your blog through a link my brother posted. Noah advised me to tell you the comments I just made to him. I work in the dental field. I have seen many accident victims. Adelaide will have Avery long road ahead filled with reconstruction and follow up surgeries. The things they can do these days for facial reconstruction is amazing. I am very glad it didn’t hit her nerves. In addition her teeth can be fixed. Wether with crowns or implants. (Make sure a highly reputed dentist who specializes in this type of work does this). What does concern me is the part about her tongue. Is the going to affect her ability to eat, taste or her speech? A question to ask her doctors. In the end though, after this long road of surgeries she will be beautiful again. I will keep praying for her…
love to you both, friends and family… so sorry. I wish we could make all streets safer xo
Dude, my deepest sympathy for you and her.
HANG IN THERE!
I have seen some incredible damage to people, such as you have described, and seen the doctors put them back together again. It’s really quite amazing, and I fully believe Hand-Of-God kind of recovery.
Have faith. She will need your love and strength to help get her through the rough times to come.
You are in my prayers.
I heart goes out to you both. Sending positive energy your way. Be strong. She will need you. As a cyclist, this is heartbreaking and scary. Thank you for sharing. Let the healing begin.
I am without words… my thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time.
Stay strong… Our thoughts are with you all the way from Brisbane Australia.
In our thoughts and prayers .
Kennett, I wish for you and Adelaide a full recovery.
Honestly, words escape me reading this tragedy.
Thanks for the wake-up call.
Any one of us.
Kennett, I am so deeply sorry about this – I understand your pain so well. I lost my brother, Neil, to a cycling accident just 6 months ago, which has rocked my world to the core. I know my words bring little comfort, but I’m thinking of you and Adelaide this week.
Prayers are with both of you. Your story does justice to the love you share.
Prayers for Adelaide* and thank GOD she has you in her life as her rock and earth angel*
I am so saddened that Adelaide had to endure such trauma as well as yourself. I too cycle and it is down right scary as people behind motor vehicles have little concern for our well being and are pissed off most of the time because we are trying to share the road. This is so unfortunate and I am so sorry. Thank God she lived through this. I wish you both well. xoxo
Thoughts are with you- Wishing her a speedy recovery!!!
Our hearts go out and hope for a full and complete recovery.
I am sending you good wishes and prayers for Adelaide’s speedy recovery.
A fellow biker
I am heartbroken for you and Adelaide. I will be praying for swift healing and for a profound peace to calm both your hearts. Hosea 6:1-3
You don’t know me, I live a world away in South Florida–but we have a horrible bond. The cruel psychological beat-down of shock/fear/devastation/anger/guilt/pain. Every Labor Day I am reminded of 2008. 59 miles into a 60 mile ride, and my wife was buzzed by a nondescript white van which forced her into a sewer grate. She broke the left orbital socket in her face in four places–requiring surgery and two plates. I was 30 or 40 meters up the hill–turned back when I heard her tire explode, just in time to see her rolling into the road. Well… the next couple of weeks sucked, but things got back to normally over time. Betty was lucky, her accident was not as severe as Adelaide’s. The scar near her eye is hardly noticeable, nearly all the road rash on her face healed, and the one on her shoulder makes her look tough:) Modern medicine is amazing, so don’t give up hope yet.
I am not sure why I felt compelled to write to you. I suppose I wanted to tell you that I was touched by your story–that it brought a tear-filled rush of emotions not felt since the last Labor Day. I suppose I wanted to share that others have felt the terrible cocktail of feelings that you are dealing with right now–things ARE going to get better, but this is going to be a part of both of you forever. While there was no way you could have foreseen this, you do have the opportunity over the next few weeks to galvanize the feelings the two of you have for each other. I hope it is okay that I shared your story. I sincerely wish that no person would ever have to feel the way that you are feeling right now. And, I wish even more that she heals quickly and well so that you can both move on.
Wish you both all the best, Matt Long
I’m so sorry to read this – I can’t even imagine what you must be going through. This is something that terrifies me every time my boyfriend goes out riding. Sending lots of healing thoughts to Adelaide, I hope she’s okay. Best wishes to you both xx
All the best, heartbreaking to read, unfortunately happening way too often, a cyclist just down the road lost her legs when a a delivery truck turned in front of her without warning.
I’m not sure if I ever met her [Swing dancing] but my prayers and thoughts of positive healing go out to this beautiful girl. -fellow Swing and Blues dancer, Denver
I wish her a speedy recovery, as well as many more beautiful miles running and cycling in the future. I’m sorry for the rehab she may have to go through, and the hardships you two are about to experience during the recovery. Stay strong!
Jesus Christ. From a stranger across the world up just sitting up late at night browsing biking forums, I wish you both the strength and courage for the days ahead. Adelaide is a beautiful and apparently very strong woman. Your story is incredibly moving as I think of my own wife and kids. I had to yell at a guy just this morning who cut me off dangerously in the city (him in his car, me on my bike). Having been through some nightmarish hospital adventures in the last couple of years involving the loss of close family members I am sure you will feel in a nightmare for some time to come. You and Adelaide will endure. The fact that we can endure such nightmares–nightmares that if described to us before the accident, we would have sworn would not be endurable–has not ceased to surprise me. Good luck.
Kennett and Adelaide, Wow, what a strong post. I share your anger at a senseless accident caused by a driver not paying attention. I ride those same roads whenever I visit the Boulder area and assume the drivers there are maybe a bit more attentive than other places. How wrong, Cyclist always lose in a collision. It’s painful to read what happened to Adelaide. I hope Adelaide heals quickly from the injuries and overcomes the fears to ride again adn I hope you find a constructive place for the anger this deserves. Maybe the Boulder community will learn something from this and be more aware of cyclists. Your both in my thoughts.
Thank you for sharing this horrific experience as I have been thinking of Sara since the accident and was anxious to find out her condition. I was right behind her and witnessed, felt, and narrowly avoided, the awful magnitude of the accident. All who were present were deeply affected. I am so sorry for the extent of her injuries and have been moved to tears on several occasions when I think of her and this horrible event. I hope her recovery is nothing short of miraculous. Scott
I just wanted to say that I’ve read and savored each of these comments. You’ve all truly helped me today and I know these messages will help Adelaide when she wakes up. Thank you for sharing your stories, compassion, blessings and positive thoughts.
I am so sorry to hear about the accident. Glad to hear you are there to support her at this tragic time and my hopes and prayers go out to you and Adelaide. Here is to a speedy recovery.
Thinking of you both over here in Scotland as an EMT and a cyclist. Good luck and stay strong for this new challenge that you can face together. All the best.
You are living my worst nightmare, stay strong. You write beautifully, and I shall be following to watch you write of her recovery. Which I hope is as smooth and swift as it can possibly be.
Keep pushing, keep moving forward and keep fighting, most of all, when you’re ready! Keep riding! The world needs more great girls on bikes! Don’t let one stupid driver take Away your passion! I will be pulling for you.
Thoughts and positive vibes from the UK.
Hello from Finland Kennett.
I wish the best recovery to Adelaide and keep strong brother!
You don’t know me but I know your friend Jen, being a bike rider and married to a man whom road from Seattle to Washington, D.C. And having a bike accident myself I can only imagine what your going through. Remember your her strength right now so take care of yourself. My prayers are with you Adelaide and your families knowing on a special day you will ask for her hand. God bless
Stay strong man, she needs you now. good luck and best wishes for a happy future together.
I came across this blog post from DrunkCyclist’s Facebook page. What a strong read, it really hit me in the stomach. From my computer desk here in Norway, I can only offer my heartfelt thoughts to you both and hope for her recovery to be as good and speedy as possible. Best wishes.
In my thoughts and prayers , Adelaide is a strong lady in many ways, she will prove that in the months to come.
Best wishes Keith (Ireland).
Best of wishes to you both, I hope she recovers soon
Adelaide’s mental strength and fitness level will work in her favor. Don’t be discouraged and don’t forget to care for yourself as well. There are many better days ahead.
Wow! Just reading this blog has me in tears again. I wish even more that I had followed her to the hospital like my instincts told me. I knew she’d be alone until the police reached you, but I didn’t think of how alone and scared you’d be… Dr. Peter Schmidt is a wonderful and highly competent doctor.
One of the best in the area. I suspect that after a long recovery, she’ll be as beautiful as she was Saturday morning. I can tell you she was smiling and happy moments before her crash as she flew by me :) I pray that you Both make a full recovery and that you take advantage of the support from family, friends and God as you become whole again… Peace!
Dear Kennett, My wife, Terry, and I ride that same stretch of road frequently. I also commute every day, winter and summer, into Boulder from Lafayette. I’ve nearly met the same fate on numerous occasions. Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely lady you have! No doubt it’s going to be a long, hard road, but no matter what her beauty and strength will remain intact. And what a blessing to have you and Maybellene in her life, too. We wish you and Adelaide much warmth, love, courage, and support in the days ahead.
Peace be with you,
Dave Walker & Terry Malouf
Praying for a speedy recovery. Best wishes.
SO sorry to hear about this tragic incident. I too was the victim of a reckless driver and know the horror’s you and your family/friends are facing. While it is a difficult road, there is renewed life to be found when taken for a ride so close to the edge. During these difficult times remember to hold tight the positives and shrug off the negative. Stay strong and use this experience to make yourself, your family and the world better! PRAYERS, STRENGTH AND POWER TO YOU!
I am sorry to hear about this. I have ridden with Adelaide on some of those roads around there in Boulder and Lyons. She is a strong rider and will heal quickly and be back on that bike. Sending positive energy for her and for you.
Hi Kennett, We don’t know each other, but we have a lot in common. Unfortunately, one of those things we share is having a partner get seriously injured in a senseless car v. bike accident. (My partner suffered orofacial, head, and knee trauma when he was doored by a car right in front of a “Do Not Stop / No Passenger Loading” sign, while running an errand for me.) I cried and cried when I read your post, empathizing with what you, Adelaide, and your families are going through. I, too, felt/ still feel the guilt and regret that comes with being the uninjured one, but I try to relieve myself of that more and more each day, as should you….. You and Adelaide have suffered something terrible, and it will be a very long road to recovery. But have faith that you both will make it through. I promise, it will get getter. You two being elite athletes is a benefit because you know that failure is not an option. (Take my experience:: a year and a half after the accident, almost fully recovered, our relationship is stronger than ever and my partner qualified for his Pro license in XC MTB.) Sending you lots of hope, love, serenity, and healing thoughts, Heidi.
oh wow. this is the things that nightmares are made of. from one cyclist to another – I hope the both of you recover not only from the physical wounds, but the mental wounds as well. best wishes.
Kennett, keep your head up and heart strong. Remember, strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway. Thoughts&prayers going out to you, family and loved ones that guide Adelaide’s way through recovery.
I am so sorry to hear about Adelaide’s accident! It bringing tears to my eyes. I too was in a cycling accident only 5 weeks ago and I am still recovering. I broke my face in half and lost a lot of teeth. It is going to be a long road to recovery but it reassures me that everything WILL be ok. Let her know she is strong and brave and she is not alone. She is very lucky to have you! And the Vitamix is key!
Kennett, I am so sorry for what has happened. I am a cyclist in North Boulder and I work from home. If you need some help with Maybellene over these next few weeks, email me and I can take her for a few days or get her to the dog park. My thoughts are with you and Adelaide and her family.
I’m so sorry this happened. But she’s alive and will be strong again. Stay strong for her now. She needs you. Sending healing vibes to you and her. Prayers for a speedy recovery.
I’m so sorry for this. My heart aches for you both. From your story and these pictures, it sounds like the most beautiful things about her are going to be just fine!
Love from San Francisco, California. This was heartbreaking to read, and I’m crying on the bus to work now.
Please lean on your support network as you help her to heal, and heal yourself as well from this tremendous trauma. And thank you for your courage and honesty in sharing this story. You and Adelaide will be in my thoughts.
We’ve never met before but I grew up in Fort Collins and know the Lyons and Longmont area well. As I read your description of this horrible accident I could visualize where it took place. My heart goes out to you brother. Please know that you and Adelaide will both be in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless you both.
“Colorado cyclist living in Texas”
Love and prayers from the Little Rock, AR cycling community.
Kennett,I pray for a speedy recovery for Adelaide.She will be up and at’em in know time.Be safe out there,you have a warrior who needs your hand.
Prayers and good wishes for Adelaide from Youngstown, Ohio.
This all must be so terrifying. It is difficult to even read, more or less experience. I know I am a stranger to you all, but if you need ANYTHING, please don’t hesitate to let me know. In the meantime, know that ya’ll are in my prayers.
Cannot think of the right words.
You both are in my thoughts and prayers.
Reaching out to you, Kennett, from NY state… the mechanic at my LBS went through something like Adelaide is experiencing – went through the window of a car. Most of the impact was to his throat and chest, so he had less facial injury but very nearly died of a severed jugular vein – in a coma with Drs telling his mother, “I don’t know why he’s alive.” When he finally was awake and moving, they kept him away from mirrors, but he sneaked into a restroom to see what he looked like. “I screamed and screamed,” he told me. I’m telling you this to say it is an ORDEAL, it goes on a long time, and it’s really, really hard, but she will heal!! Dave, like Adelaide, is young and really strong, and now he shrugs, shows the scars under his t-shirt, and says, “Yep. That was a BAD DAY.” He’s riding, he’s exploring, he’s wrenching, and he is a very happy new dad!
This is Dana (Jeff from SE’s girlfriend). This post is incredibly powerful. I’ve been in the ER/ICU/hospital situation with my mom, and boy did all those queasy heartsick feelings come flooding back when reading this. Sending big, hairy, positive thoughts your way. Recovery won’t be easy. Adelaide and you are going to need every ounce of both your health and strength in the coming weeks and months. Make sure to keep eating and resting and staying strong for her. Big hugs to you both and let us know if you need anything — food, a dog sitter, whatever.
Hang in there, guys. Huge community pulling for you. Great doctors on the Front Range, too. Thinking of you and your families, though we’ve never met. From pics and your story, sounds like Adelaide will be strong and tough. Best to you and see you on a ride sometime soon. For real. Get it done!
Reblogged this on Witch on a Bicycle and commented:
Any questions about why I’m stopping reporting bike wrecks are answered here.
Someone sent me this link in e-mail. I used to report on a lot of wrecks like this but I think I won’t any more. I have been reporting left cross wrecks (and everything else) since 2008 and I think I finally hit my limit last week. I’m reblogging this post to show the human costs that motor vehicles inflict.
I wish you the best in your recovery and healing. I admire your strength and will. You are obviously very loved and cherished. You are an amazing athlete with more than physical talent. Put that mind power to work ! You have what it takes to overcome and conquer. Lean on your friends and family to inspire you and carry you through. Dig as deep as you can to move past this. You have what it takes. I admire you tremendously.
a fan from San Diego.
You both are in my thoughts and wishing for a speedy recovery.
As a fellow cyclist and human my heart goes out to you and Adelaide…May God’s strength and mercy continue to support you through this tough time. As a chaplain (USAF) myself I’m glad one was available for you…continue to utilize that resource for the journey of recovery ahead.
This is just heartbreaking. In a strange way it brings back memories of being attacked by a Saint Bernard when I was in 4th grade. Through there were no broken bones, the facial trauma was quite extensive. My right upper eyelid was peeled down, my tearduct was cut and my lips were badly cut. I nearly lost my eye. A plastic surgeon stitched up my face, the recovery was an ordeal, I had to learn to open my eye again. It took a while for the scars to fade, but now most of them are not even visible. It is amazing what doctors can do.
I still remember if like it was yesterday. One moment I was petting my neighbor’s dog. The next I was getting up off the ground unable to open my eye wondering what happened. Everyone looked panicked, horrified and afraid to come near me. The strangest part of the whole thing is between the shock and adrenaline there was no pain. That came later and I really don’t remember it. My strongest memory of the whole ordeal was sometime later, when I still had stitched in my face, was the first time I was able to laugh. It hurt, but was the first time I felt normal again. I hope that time comes soon for you both and both of your recoveries go as smoothly as possible.
I sell tacky, asinine, CHEEKY cycling jerseys. You are both welcome to one at no charge if it will lighten the mood. I would also like to re-blog this if it is okay.
Thank you for sharing,
Love, good vibes, and lots of prayers sent your way. I’m sure she’ll heal 100% and you both will be on bikes again in no time. After a couple of events with friends of mine, I’ve realized that the strongest people are used by the universe to show the rest of the world that ever the worst things CAN be overcome. BE STRONG!!!
I do not know you, but was touched by this! I am not going to tel you any similar stories, I just wanted to say that I was crying through the whole story, and am truly sorry. I can’t imagine what the 2 of you are going through. Hang in there, and the day by day to come will be brutal, but time truly does heal all wounds!! My thoughts and my wife’s thought and prayers go out to you 2 and your families!!!! Again, so sorry!!
Love from Portland, Or
I wish you two unrelenting determination and strength in the suck that is recovery. Adelaide sounds like she is one serious badass, and I am sure she will heal fast and steady. Keep your chin up and your teeth bared, dude. Much, much love from Minneapolis
Kennett, I’m a former Boulderite now on the other side of the world (Nelson NZ) and I know that section of road extremely well from hundreds of rides along 36 and up/down Hygiene Road. Please know that you and Adelaide are in our thoughts and we hope for a complete recovery.
Also, I don’t know if you know Matty and Kelly Reed (also former Boulder residents and friends of ours) but Kelly might be a good person for Adelaide to talk with at some point since Kelly has been through a similar experience. If you don’t know them, I’m happy to put Kelly in contact with you.
Wow, so sad. Coming from someone who just lost a baby girl who was very close to us, I hope for the fastest recovery and healing for Adelaide.
Heartbreaking to read. Very, very best in recovery. Once done, please get back on the bike.
As a cyclist who lives with and loves other cyclists my heart goes out to you and Adelaide.
You both have been deeply in my thoughts since I first read this last night. You have strength you have not even begun to tap as does Adelaide. Lean heavily on your friends and family, letting them carry some of the burden so you can focus on Adelaide and caring for yourself. Know that you are in the hearts and minds of many people now and in the coming weeks.
Very sorry to hear about this. It sounds like the driver pulled out quickly thinking he could beat the traffic on 36, then stopped abruptly realizing he couldn’t, causing the accident.
I was also in a serious bike crash (broken back, ribs, and more). I didn’t ride again for several years, but sure enough am riding again. The only thing I can say is that you -will- make it though the healing process day by day and when it’s over you will realize you are still young.
Much love and positive vibes from a complete stranger in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. You both will be in my and my families thoughts.
To Kennett and adalaide,
Neither of you know me, and I only know of you both now because I was one of the many faces you encountered in the ER Saturday. As a fellow triathlete and cyclist, I always struggle when we have these types of sports injuries come into the ER… I sometimes wonder how I get back on my bike after seeing the things I see at work. I sometimes wonder how I do the job I do.
Furthermore, I am a mom to two small children and the effort it takes me somedays to train for a race knowing anything can happen on the road is difficult. But …. I don’t have to know you to know that your competitive drive, “no quit” attitude, mental fortitude, and inner strength will get you both through this. Adalaide was so fortunate to be treated by a truly top notch team of medical providers. She will have a long road but its a road she’ll conquer… You both will!
Stay strong for each other, try to find the good amongst the bad, and know that we (the ER staff, your triathlete, and cycling community both professional and amateur) are thinking of you and praying for a fast recovery. Tough times don’t last, tough people do.
All my best
Jamie Canino PAC
My heart goes out to you and Adelaide during this challenging time. Life is so precious and I hope that you two are able to find refuge in your love for each other. I went through a windshield in a terrible accident many years ago; after two months in the hospital, five years of surgeries, fifteen years of physical therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, and vision therapy, I have survived better than any of the “experts” imagined. Here are a few tips on managing this ordeal, absolutely modify them to best serve your situation:
1. Buy a simple sign language book and teach Adelaide basic words like; yes, no, hungry, tired, enough, help, etc. It super sucks not to be able to talk, especially when your in major pain and thoroughly exhausted. Any little way she can direct her care and communicate with you is going to empower her. There is no doubt in my mind that she will learn to talk again, but while she’s recovering, other ways of helping her communicate, will be a blessing. A pad and pen will be helpful as well, but it can be tiring to write down every single response and thought.
2. When in doubt, take a shower, put on clean clothes and eat a meal, even if you’re not hungry. You are her primary caretaker, if you’re not taking care of yourself, you cannot be there for her. In the coming weeks, add taking a nap and going for a run to your daily hospital vigil. You will also be amazed at the outpouring of love and support from your family and friends. Accept their help even when it’s hard for you to do so.
3. Take the doctors’ predictions with a grain of salt. Yes, they are the experts. Yes, they may be right about a lot of things, but no one will be able to foresee the extent of Adelaide’s healing. The body has an incredible ability to fix itself and her strength of spirit is going to take her a long way. This doesn’t mean “don’t follow their advice”, it means keep your mind and heart open to a surprisingly successful recovery. After my accident, I didn’t have a stitch of skin on my neck, face and hairline. I sustained such severe damage that my face looked like ground hamburger. If you had told me I’d look the way I do today, I wouldn’t have believed a word of it. Now, people who didn’t know me then, argue with me that it “couldn’t have been that bad, you barely have any scars”.
4. As tempting as it is to settle all the legal mumbo-jumbo surrounding this event, wait at least a year. Once the obvious injuries are handled, the subtle ones will become more evident. She may only have a scrape on her shoulder, but it could have cartilage damage and range of motion limitations. It is very likely that an impact that caused so much trauma to her face may have shook her brain and/or damaged a disk in her neck. Adelaide is most likely going to need series of surgeries, dental work, cognitive and vision therapy, as well as counseling. Start an excel spreadsheet for all her expenses now and consider hiring an attorney.
Last of all, I want you to know that every day will be a little bit better than the one before. The doctors that incorrectly foretold that I would be confined to wheelchair by the age of forty underestimated my hiking, biking, rock-climbing, 100% Boulder-Native-Nut perseverance. Adelaide has the skills to overcome these challenges with amazing strength and grace. I wish you both all that is good in this world and may your lives become recognizable again, as soon as possible.
Your ability to share this story right now is phenomenal. Adelaide is lucky to have you. Keep your thoughts positive, and you’ll be riding together again soon.
Praying for you guys! To think just a few short weeks ago we were all grilling and sitting around the fire at your place. I can only imagine the pain you both must be in. Please let me know any way I can help you guys as this is a terrible struggle for anyone to endure and there’s no need to face it alone.
I’m sorry this happened to you and Adelaide. Sending prayers to you both for smooth healings inside and out. May the love you share pave the way to recognizing a seemingly impossible silver lining of this horrific time.
From Gainesville, Florida, my thoughts, positive energy and care are being sent across the country to you and Adelaide. Your powerful words relay the nightmare of every cyclist – and their loved ones. I’m not a cyclist, but my husband and two children ride avidly. Each time they ride, there is that small thought that one person’s moment of carelessness can forever change the life and health of another person. And those who love them. One of the hardest parts to accept is that we will perhaps never understand the “why did this happen” part of such awful tragedy. It is clear that you and Adelaide are very strong people and you will surely emerge from the dark tunnel of this difficult time even stronger. Perhaps a part of what makes us stronger in the face of such tragedy is the collective strength we receive from others who share their time, energy,thoughts, care, concern and love. Accept that all as you and Adelaide work through her recovery and try to process how an accident that should never have happened did.
Beaming healing energy your way.
I am so sorry to hear about Adelaide’s accident – best wishes to both of you, friends & family for a new level of stregth and endourance during this time. Thank you for sharing the story and updates.
Kenneth – I’m the benefits specialist at QBP/SE, so please contact me directly if I can be of any assistance with any of Adelaides benefits/resources available to her as it can be a mess to navigate though. Also, if you wouldn’t mind shooting me an email when you have a chance, that I could reach you at if anything comes up, that would be great. Thinking of you…
I crashed hard 5 weeks ago. Had multiple very serious facial fractures and a long surgery. Not as bad as Adelaide but still bad. It is not a fun process but things get better.
Be thankful for the things that didn’t happen that could have been much worse.
So sorry to hear about this. My thoughts are with you both. The dance community is with you guys. Love and strength to you.
Dear K and A,
Total stranger here living in Chicagoland, but we share triathlon. I am so, so awfully sorry for what has happened to the both of you, and can only scrape the words together to wish you both my most sincere wishes for peace, joy, strength and humor in the darkest times, and a full and fast recovery. I am new to the tri world and Adelaide seems like such an awesome badass. If anyone could come out on the other side of this tragedy, it seems like she could. Your tremendous strength in writing so clearly and honestly, so close to the event, will serve you both well. Thank you for sharing your story, and please know that you both have two more Ironman crazies rooting for you. I am already looking forward to the post, sometime in the future, that you will publish about her remarkable healing journey and full recovery.
Love and hope,
Laura and Josh
The Crankery article was forwarded to me by a friend. I too was hit this year by an inattentive driver and my face took the impact, basically it was split in half. A unlicensed driver in a truck he did not own made a left hand turn through traffic and smashed into 4 cyclists who were part of the 2000+ rider AIDS Lifecycle ride from SF to LA. There is absolutely no way he did see the hundreds of cyclists on the road, he just tried to make his move regardless of anyone else’s safety. My husband was home in Oregon when this accident happened, so your fear, heartache and anger is something we know all too well. 5 months later, I will tell you the face heals fast, plastic surgery is a fine art, Adelaide is just plain lucky, helmets are never ever optional, no matter how defensively you ride you can fix stupid and finally invest in hats, lots of fun & cool hats to protect her face from the sun.
Your tribe will support you both and her recovery will be nothing short of amazing.
We have never met, but this link was passed along to me by a friend. I am a triathlete and cycle that road frequently. This is such a heartbreaking story but know there are so many people, friends you know and those you don’t, who have you in their thoughts and prayers. Please let us know if there are ways we as a cycling community can help. Food, cleaning, grocery shopping….
Sending Adelaide and you love and healing light
I was so saddened to hear about this accident. Too many cyclists are getting hit by vehicles and either being seriously injured or dying. Colorado does have rules for cars and cyclists alike. I don’t understand why we can’t share the road.
I am praying that Adelaide is not in too much pain. She will have a long recovery with many surgeries and my heart goes out to you both. I worked in dentistry for over thirty years and when you described the injuries it definitely took me back to that work.
I know you are in emotional pain and I am sorry you are having to deal with such a major issue. You are stronger than you know and for now she needs your strength.
God watch over both of you as she heals and over the surgeons’ hands as they perform all the upcoming surgeries.
Kennett, I am so sorry. If there is anything I can do to help Adelaide, you, and your families, please tell me. My family and friends are praying for all of you. Your Mom helped encourage me after my bike accident. I was and am very grateful to have your parents as friends. My continued recovery was/is bearable because of all of the help I have gotten from friends, family members, coworkers, medical service providers, etc . . . Please reach out when you need to. As several people above have let you know, there is no reason to face this alone. I know my family survived the struggle of helping to get me healthy again because they reached out to each other and friends. It will be hard, but we are all praying that you all have some really good things to look forward to. My husband, Mike, hasn’t ridden with me in years, but he is now celebrating every time I come home from a bike ride. It’s taken me 2 years, hopefully, you will get to have those celebrations too.
Hi Kennett, I waited on you the other day at Sturtz and Copeland. I was busy cashing out a drawer and couldn’t help you pick out the gladiolas for Adelaide, but I rang you up and took your money. I commented on the fact that you must be a biker and then we connected with a conversation about Sue, Scott and Drew. .. I had no idea of the pain that you must be going through. Sue Loyd read your blog and told me.. I feel terrible about the time I wasted with you chatting about cycling, when you were in such disparre.. Please know that Adelade and you are in my prayers… the flowers were on me… take care….
please contact one of these doctors to discuss low level laser therapy.
I was struck by a car while riding my bicycle just over 4 years ago. I had a very severe traumatic brain injury and was not expected to make it through the night. Spent about 6 weeks in the neurointensive care unit. I initially couldn’t use my right arm and I had a moderate to severe speech deficit. I had to undergo a long, dangerous surgery to clip an aneurysm that had developed because of the accident. None of my physicians expected me to be able to return to work as a pediatric resident.
With a lot of prayers, support and rehabilitation, I was able to return to my residency program within 6 months of my surgery. Since that time, I have run 3 marathons and I am now a board certified pediatrician.
She will have a long road ahead, but never give up. Pray. Hold her hand. Be her support. Your love, support and friendship will mean so much for her recovery.
Please feel free to contact me on Facebook. My husband and I will be more than happy to speak with you. We will be praying for you and Adelaide.
I found this story via Drunkcyclist.com’s FB page. I’m an ER nurse and cyclist and bike commuter. I see myself and my spouse, a triathlete and bike commuter, in your story, and my heart broke as I read this absolutely gripping and wrenching narrative. Know that Adelaide’s tremendous fitness was such an asset to her, despite the horrific nature of her injuries. The completely badass baseline fitness she’s achieved will boost her so much through the recovery to come. I will keep you both in my thoughts, and my wish for both of you is that you will be back out soon, blasting through those incredible Boulder County canyons. I reposted this blog. Much love from Tucson.
Hi there. I don’t know you, but found your blog after reading the story in the Daily Camera. I’m 62-years old, and my competitive cycling days are long in the past. My husband was a competitive runner, and our weekends were often much as you described yours before this awful accident — meeting up with friends, training runs and rides, supporting each other in reaching our goals. Anyhow, my heart goes out to you both. Your lives for the next couple of years will probably revolve around surgery-recovery-more surgery. You will be amazed at what skilled surgeons can do, but summoning up the required patience as this unfolds may be a challenge. There’s no brain or spinal damage !!! Such a gift. You’ll still have your wonderful girl — and she’ll have you — and after this there will truly be nothing you can’t accomplish together. All my best to you both, don’t give up. I believe life will be good, and in strange ways even better, in the future.
God bless, so sad
Sending lots of love and healing energy to Adelaide. It was a very senseless accident that shouldn’t have happened. I feel saddened for you both, as severe accidents can turn lives upside down in a matter of seconds!!
I have just read all the responses to Kennett’s blog and in tears through much of it again and again. Our son Curt is with his son for a week or two and we stay in close touch. My husband and I have not met Adelaide yet, were expecting them here for Christmas but will hope they can come out to California after all the healing. We are to elderly to fly to Boulder but think of Adelaide and Kennett constantly and also Galen and Jocelyn who are living the tragedy with them.
When Adelaide is doing well in recovery see if you can smuggle Mabeline in for a short visit. A dog’s loving lick can help cure and how Adelaide would love it. We think of you both constantly. Our love to all of you. Grandma Carol and Grandpa Milt
Dear Kennett and Adelaide,
My name is Roxanne Hall and I just read your story. It really hit home for me because I was hit by a car while on a training ride in 2008. It almost killed me and I suffered many life threatening injuries, including a lacerated liver and pancreas, broken back in 5 places, severed ACL and torn MCL of the left knee , and many other injuries. I just wanted you to know that I am praying for both of you and I know how horrible this is. Please send me your address because I would like to send you something. Stay strong!
I’m so sorry that this has happened.
Get well soon Adelaide. And take care and stay strong, both of you.
The thought just occurred to me, but with an impact like that there is a high possibility of diffuse axonal damage. Diagnosis requires an MRI done within 2 hours of the initial injury or a pre-injury baseline CAT scan to compare to post injury scans as is done in Formula One gran prix racing, but absent those it should be assumed and treated anyway as treatment will not cause any other injury and will save brain function from further damage if the injury is present. There is about a 1 week window to start treatment when no coma is present, coma indicates treatment should start as soon as possible. My own brain damage from my 2001 wreck when the condition was not well known or diagnosed prevented me from telling you sooner.
Life so previous, words so powerful, a community of friends and strangers support your journey.
Reading this powerful and emotional story from Lake Havasu. Thank you for sharing and I hope it brings awareness to drivers everywhere. May you both have an abundance of support during this difficult time. Do not rack your head with guilt. She seems like a beautiful, athletic, and happy person living her heart’s content. May you both have the strength of a million souls.
Stay strong. caretaker fatigue/strain is a significant issue when caring for an injured loved one. Be sure that you are getting the rest, nutrition, and exercise you need. Remeber you can’t help her if you aren’t helping yourself. Well wishes from Florida
Life is unbelievably bizarre and without reason at times. I do know that you are both incredibly lucky and blessed. It could have been much, much worse. You two will be fine, enjoy nice bike rides in the future, and have each other to love and to hold. I used to get mad at every driver, but that energy eventually went towards more positive routes. Yes, stay strong and positive. Life is way to precious and short to be mad for an extended period of time. If you can frown, you can smile; if you can yell, you can laugh. It’s amazing how so many things in life means so little after something like this. stay strong, you will both get through this. take care.
You don’t know me, but we have some shared Denver/Boulder area cycling friends. My heart goes out to you and Adelaide.
Stay strong, and please remember that there are bright days ahead for you both, once all of this darkness lifts.
Wow. What an experience, a horrible experience. I feel for you. I couldn’t imagine experiencing this. You both sound like strong people and will conquer this.
You wrote this piece so well too. Maybe a door to a safer career as a writer is opening up.
I really hope all turns out better than you could hope for.
Thank for sharing.
My thoughts are with you both.
Sending healing thoughts to Adelaide. May the Goddess watch over her. Wishing you strength Kennett during this trying time.
We’re so sorry you had to go thru this, but glad you shared. We had a similar situation happen to us this spring when one of our husbands was hit by a drunk driver AT 11AM who had open liquor and a gun in his car. It’s just tragic that this keeps happening. We wish you all the best. You can certainly contact us if you need someone to talk to as we have been there and it’s a rough road healing…
So incredibly sorry to hear about this, Kennett. I’ll never be able to understand what you are currently going through and will endure in the coming months… I’ve donated what I can for now. Hang in there.
My heart goes out to the both of you.. I had a crash last month that I landed on my face first.. I will not discount my injuries.. As my wife would never let me hear the end of that.. Recovery has been tough and the bills are stacking up… The most important thing is I am still here and so is she.. Stay strong.. And be thankful.. Don’t give up hope.. Hope is stronger than fear.. And you are surrounded by good people.. I am six weeks out and life is slowly getting back to normal.. I thinking of both of you.. Keep the wheels moving..
Best Wishes from NC
Horrible accident, I to heard of this through the DC site, good luck with all the recovery, I hope all goes well for both of you, and your families.
I can’t even fathom what you’re going through, your description of the events of that day brought tears to my eyes.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, and especially Adelaide.
Wow, my heart goes out to you all. As a cyclist, this is truely a nightmare scenario. My heart breaks every time i hear of another cyclist injured. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.
Stay strong, wishing you both the best.
Kennett & Adelaide ~
Up at this hour reading your well written & heart wrenching account of the accident & all the words of love, hope & encouragement. I normally never really get into these things, but someone looking for help w/a couple dogs for transport, also had me click onto yours.
You have lots of love & some very good advice sent here by others. How wonderful is the ability to so easily reach out from all over the world today!
For all those who are offering help & telling Ken to just let you know…. In times like this, it’s just better to do it on your own. Show up w/cooked food, groceries, to walk or take Maybellene for a while. Call, instead of waiting for a call. Offer to run some errands, while doing your own, before you run out. Just be proactive w/it. They’ll appreciate it more than you know. If you arrive at a bad time, no need to hang around. Drop off what you came with, wish them well w/love. If they’re not home, leave a card/note of encouragement at the door, or a ‘thinking of you’ VM. Little things add up & mean so much. When the snow flies, arrive w/a plow or shovel & hot cocoa or stronger, to enjoy w/them after. ;)
Back to K & A ~
I’m a CO lover, but live in NE, on Cape Cod. Cyclist are huge here, especially in the Summer, w/many races of all types. The roads here are narrow & don’t support both cars & bikes, or even runners well, but over the years, b/c of so many accidents & lives taken, they have made some of the more heavily ridden roads wider & have put in more sidewalks. I personally went over the back of a car many years ago on a too narrow road, that also had people & roller-blades on it at different points. The car stopped dead in front of me w/o warning & over I went. Several injuries & several months of recovery. Worse, was losing 2 friends who were major riders, over the next few years.
I’ve survived a few more horrid accidents since my biking one, like a cat w/9 lives, or more likely, God giving me more chances to figure a lot out, which after the last major one 6 yrs. ago now, I’m finally ‘getting it’.
I agree w/Opus. Get the brain imagining comparisons ASAP, if it has not been done yet. My last accident had me recovering for over a year & my brain is still not 100%. Nor is my body. But I was 52 & not in the fine physical condition that Adelaide is in. Decent shape, but not the hard body I was w/my biking accident. It does play a big role in overall recovery, for sure, as does age.
I also agree w/seeking out a good laser treatment practice for light laser therapy on your face. Advances in the medical field are amazing. I can hardly see my neck & facial scars now. I really have to look & point them out to others to see. If they are not looking for them, they don’t see them. That’s w/o makeup, as I wear very little, anyway.
Surviving what could have been a life ending accident changes everything, especially for the survivor. In many ways, it changes things for the better, as you will put behind you all the nonsense & petty things that seemed to hold more importance before. You won’t be wasting your time on either anymore. You see everything differently & look at everyone differently too. Life is so much more precious. Nothing is ‘matter of fact’, or taken for granted for a long time, if ever again. You realize just what a gift each day really is. Right along w/your ability to see, hear, speak, even move, let alone have a high energy, performance body. All your senses are heightened.
You’re either cursing God, or thanking Him at different times. Better to be thanking Him, I know…
Recovery will be challenging, to say the least. Having someone strong there to be by your side thru it, will make all the difference in the world. So will a support system of good friends & family. Maybellene will sense what has happened & change toward you too, being more loving, protective & maybe not want to leave your side. The loving loyalty of our dogs is hard to match.
But having people you feel comfortable enough to cry with is also important. And crying together, if you want/need to, is a good thing. You’re on your way to a new bond, beyond what you have ever had. It will be an emotionally charged, but wonderful journey in the end. One, you would not have otherwise taken.
If you don’t have one, find your path to God. Now is a good time. Build a relationship w/Him, as that is what He wants w/all of us. His Son is your best friend, & like any good friend, the more time you spend w/Him, the more you’ll draw near & enriched you will be. No one knows or understands you in every way & area, more. You will find that relationship the most important one you have & to share it w/the one you love, is beyond words. That is another whole new experience & world that will be open to you. You will get strength from God, when you can’t find it anywhere else. & In every way, not just physically. And you will have Him all the days of your life, w/o fail, from hereon out.
Make the time when you’re feeling better, to find a good, Interdenominational Church, who will help you grow in Him. Maybe you already have friends who are involved.
If not, you’ll find new ones to add to your lives there.
Many of us have had to hit a rough patch like this, in order to find where we really need to be in our lives. Take inventory, re-evaluate priorities & move forward in a different way than we have before.
A lot of good things are ahead. So are some big challenges. You will know the feel of the wind in your face of a good ride again, I’m sure. Your face will be more sensitive to touch for a while & definitely the sun. Everyone heals differently.
It is my prayer that you will let God be your biggest healer. He is able. To heal your head, your face, your mind, you heart, your spirit, your soul. He’ll be the guide of the talented surgeons hands, that will be a big part of bringing you back to more of what you’re used to seeing. He will be in everything you see in nature. The beautiful sunrises & sunsets. The billions of stars you’ll see at night & the glorious full moon & all the other phases. The roar of a waterfall in the wondrous Rocky Mtns. The soft pedal of a flower. The smells of the woods, trees & mountain air. The feel of Maybellene’s fur. The unconditional love you see in her eyes. Dogs are God’s reminders to us of that totally unconditional love, no human is capable of. Only dogs….& God. I believe He deliberately did that. ;) He put them here to teach us, how we are to be toward each other. Not that we all learn from them as we should.
You are both wonderfully blessed. More than you know right now. I will pray that your awareness of it all becomes as natural to you as breathing. And in turn, you will become, b/c of this, who you are both meant to be. With His help, you will be.
I’m subscribing & hoping to read of some wonderful updates, in all areas! :)
I don’t know you guys, but I saw this on drunkcyclist. It’s truly tragic any time a fellow cyclist is involved in a senseless accident like this. Thank you for sharing your story. It was difficult to read because I know it could just as easily been my gf and I going through the same horrors. I hope you take comfort in the fact that she’s still alive and will eventually be fully functional, that’s what really matters. Best of luck to you both on the road to recovery.
That was a gut wrenching, very emotional read. I don’t know you or Adelaide, our only connection being that I once lived in Boulder. But you’ve sincerley touched me with your experience, thanks for posting. Wishing for you all the strength you’ll need to get thought this and back to health, fitness and the joys of riding a bike again. Greetings from Belgium.
I have been in Adelaide’s shoes. It took a little over a year for my face to get back to normal…. but in did. Try to stay positive and supportive. It will be difficult, but she will need you to be strong in the days and weeks ahead. I wish you both the best!
don’t know you guys but your blog post hit me. I sent a few bucks to the recovery fund but mostly I send you both my good wishes.
I don’t know you guys, but I am only wishing the best for you, and a quick recovery. It sounds like Adelaide is a strong woman, which is more than good. She’ll battle through this. Hang in there brother. It may be a long journey, but, it’s going to get done.
We haven’t met but I know one thing and that is that Adelaide is lucky to have you in her life. I would add that in this case I’m sure goes both ways. It’s obvious your love for her is more than skin deep. Time heals all wounds. Hang in there…things will get better!
We met very briefly and chatted at Dog Dayz. That’s my golden and my lab mutt and my feet in your pic. Donated.
My daughter was on life support over the summer. She has recovered and is doing great. But my heart and grief know the depths of the pain you go through when you see the one you love so dearly hooked up to so many machines. My thoughts are with you all and her. Stay strong!
Heard about this through an email that went around SmartEtailing’s big sister company – terrible to hear, and strikes too close to home. In 2000, I went through a similar accident, hitting the front wheel well of an SUV that pulled the same maneuver. If either of you wants to talk, or needs a shoulder to lean on, please get in touch. Anyone in HR should be able to put us in touch.
All the best, and hoping recovery goes as fast and completely as it can.
Adelaide sounds like a great woman who will get through this with flying colors! Prayers for all of you!
Praying for both you and Adelaide.
I live in New Hampshire and work at a high school with your friend Tim Cotreau, who sent out a staff email regarding the accident. Prayers are being sent from across the country to Adelaide and all of those who love her. We are crying with you. We will be cheering Adelaide on as she makes her recovery.
Reblogged this on Holistic Health and commented:
Warning: possible triggers. A very important must read! This sort of careless driving is absolutely unacceptable and completely out of control.