three years and thankful

I nearly lost my life three years ago today.  You can read about that adventure here if you’d like.  Not a day goes by that I’m not reminded about what happened.  Not a day goes by that I don’t feel fortunate to be alive, and active.

For the past two July the firsts, I’ve visited the fire station that answered the call for my accident – Station #12 in Redmond.  Getting to thank people for saving your life is quite amazing. 

The first responders have a code they try to adhere to – called 7-7-7.  That means no longer than seven minutes to get to the scene, seven minutes readying a patient for transport, and then seven minutes to the hospital.  For Traumatic Brain Injury patients like me, time is of the essence.  Taking longer can jeopardize the patient’s life, or leave them vulnerable to sustaining brain damage.

Perhaps from their standpoint, the cyclist hit on Old Redmond Road near Grasslawn Park at 8:30 that morning posed no special challenge to them. Perhaps they simply did their job, making sure I was stabilized, and made it safely to the trauma center at Harborview Hospital in Seattle.

But it’s clear that what first responders like those that helped me, are true heroes.  What they do really matters – as it did to my family and I that morning three years ago.

They invited me back into the firehouse, and we talked for a while.  They asked how I felt, whether I remembered anything about the accident, and whether I’d spoken to the driver at all (I haven’t).

We talked about efforts to create stricter negligent driving laws, and I told them about some of the people who shared their stories in Olympia in support of the Vulnerable User Bill (signed into law by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire this past May 16).

And then we were interrupted by a call they needed to answer.  I stood by my bicycle and waved as they left, thinking about how they’d done this for me not too long ago.

In many ways, I’m happy to leave these memories behind me, and simply move on.  But remembering this anniversary by saying “thank you” is a reminder of just how blessed I am.

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