We're Pedalin' 4 Pekala!
About two years ago, my dad was in a serious cycling accident. He was airlifted from Salida to Denver and spent the next two weeks in the Neuro Trauma ICU. He had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and had multiple areas of bleeding in the brain. This completely upended my family’s life. My sister, mom, and I camped out in the ICU trying to comfort my dad. We were there while he was put through endless neuro exams, physical therapy sessions, speech assessments, and scans.
The hardest thing for me throughout those first couple of weeks was that, on one hand, I felt grateful my dad had survived the accident, yet, on the other, I had no idea whether I was actually going to get my dad back. It wasn’t until he was transferred to Craig Hospital for intensive inpatient rehab that I felt more hopeful. Within a week of his work at Craig, I knew he was going to be okay and that I was going to get my dad back.
While at Craig, my dad worked hard with his comprehensive care team that included neurologists, nurses, a physical therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, recreational therapist, and care manager. They had him practice walking while taking a therapy dog on a stroll through the hospital. He got on a recumbent bike with two therapists for a ride through the neighborhood. He went on field trips with other patients. He did yoga and balance exercises. He even was tasked with baking cookies from scratch (something I don’t think he’s ever done in his life!). All of the hard work paid off; just seven months after his accident, my dad was back on his skis to celebrate his 70th birthday. And this year, he’s ridden 1700+ miles on his bike to date!
Craig Hospital pushes their patients to work hard and get back to the life they want to live. It’s a place that will always be special to me. I am riding in Pedal 4 Possible as a way to say thank you to the incredible care team at Craig Hospital, who gave me my dad back.
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