|Date: March 8, 2002
From: Rick Brown
A week ago Thursday, I was riding my mountian bike back to the airport
I live and work (at about 5:30 PM), after normal hours. As was my custom
looked for any traffic for the last fifteen minutes approaching the
and particularly scanned the landing pattern just before taking a short-cut
up the side of one of our gravel runways. My second mistake was not
off and removing my ear-plug radios before entering onto the runway.
third mistake was not realizing that at this time, sunset, pilots landing
would be just about completely blind.
I was struck from behind by a landing glider, just as it touched down
about a 50mph closing speed. Although I was never knocked out, that
minute, laying there wondering when I might again be able to breathe
to take forever. As the first people ran up to me, I was already telling
them that I had broken ribs (I could feel them moving) and a ruptured
and maybe other internal injuries. I was also immediately telling the
that it wasn't his fault, that I should have known that he couldn't
under the circumstances.
I'll cut to the chase now. I had two broken ribs, a spleen that was
lacerated in five places, four of them blessedly minor, a severly lacerated
pancreas. And a bruise that completly covered the left half of my lower
and side. I took a very expensive and unconfortable helicopter ride,
trauma surgery, was able to repair the spleen and pancreas and spent
couple of days in the ICU and a couple of more days in the hospital
could get out. Today I had the stitches out and even took a 1/4 mile
back over to the airport office and back.
I am considering myself blessed indeed that God was watching over me.
wing had hit me left or right, up or down even a couple of inches I
dead or paralyzed. As it is, I'm sore, real sore.
My bruises will heal, my ribs will heal and my faith will be stronger.
Feeling blessed by God,