by Steve Myers
May 2, 2010 I was taking my son to a soccer game when a girl got on the Interstate going the wrong way due to being twice the legal limit drunk and had drugs in her system. We collided head on at 65mph. Once they arrived, the paramedics flew us all to the nearby trauma unit. Thank God for my son as he only had to have surgery on his left elbow and now has some new working hardware in his elbow. He had fractured ribs and bumps and bruises but was very blessed that day to escape major trauma except for his elbow. He’s doing great now. I however was grateful to take the brunt of the impact but didn’t fair out so well. My wife and I quit counting broken bones at 26 including my back, my pelvis, my wrist in 7 places, my scapula, all my ribs on the left side which punctured my lung and both my heels were crushed from the impact. My spleen was lacerated and I had two brain bleeds they were concerned about. They were especially concerned about me losing my right foot due to experiencing a compound fracture. Apparently my heel blew out the side of my foot.
Anyway, my recovery – wow, it’s been a long road from laying in the trauma unit for 3 weeks and then being moved to a nursing home for the remainder of the summer and not being able to walk mainly due to the extensive surgeries on my feet. They totally reconstructed my heels. I remember the day the surgeon told me what I kind of thought but didn’t want to hear. He said “I hear your a runner.” And to his credit he stated in as nice a way that he could that my running days are over but I should still be able to ride a bike or do something else. He didn’t understand that I loved trail running with my fiancé (at that time). I proposed to her on one of our trail runs (and she said yes). She loves trail running and I was told I’ll never do it again. I think that was as close to having my heart ripped out as I’ve ever felt. I thank God though for the surgeons and therapists and everyone involved in my recovery. I went from being bed ridden (no fun having to use a bed pan) to a wheelchair and finally gaining permission after months to be able to put weight on my feet and attempt to walk for the first time since the accident. I was told don’t get discouraged if I can’t walk the first time I try. I walked the first time using the parallel bars to hold on. I then used a walker for a while and eventually went to using a cane and then nothing. I was in the gym working my upper body while still in my wheelchair. I don’t know where my perseverance came from other than I’ve always been into fitness and being in pretty decent shape and trail running and my surgeons contributed that to me not only surviving the accident but to recovering so rapidly. I had a taste and a vision I could get it back and sometimes I think that’s all you need is a glimmer of hope and you can achieve anything.
I’m still not where I want to be although very grateful. I workout every day at the gym. I run on a not so daily basis but getting better and stronger and fighting through the pain with more ease because I can picture the day when I cross the Spartan Race finish line. I watched my wife last year run our local Spartan Race. This year we’re doing it together. We never heard about a Spartan race until last year. It was her first. We got home from it and she was signing up for this years and I told her to sign me up that I would be ready to run it if I had to crawl across the finish line. What an amazing community of people there at the race. Something sparked me and I knew I wanted to be a part of it this year.