Author Topic: COG Member down Updated information here  (Read 971 times)

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Offline Wayniac

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COG Member down Updated information here
« on: April 29, 2019, 02:39:14 pm »
During our SE area spring rally one of our members had an unfortunate accident.
Firas is a newer member that some may not yet know. He came up to the Maggie Valley event as his first out of town COG event as far as I know and joined in with a group of 4 to go ride. On day one he was just getting the feel of riding in the mountains and by two he was riding pretty well. Unfortunately on Hwy 28 just past Fontana Village and the Pit Stop Firas left the road on a downhill right hander.
He crossed over the yellow and struck the hillside on the opposite side of the road.
Firas was # 3 rider in line and the 4 rider told me that when Firas entered the corner he never leaned or touched the brakes.
This will become important.....please read on.
The number 2 rider told me over the headsets that 3 and 4 weren't behind us any longer.
We turned around at the first opportunity to head back. We found Firas and his bike off the road with bystanders picking it up off of him. Firas was under the bike. Myself and the #2 rider are both Paramedics with 24 and 30+ years of experience respectively. We both went into professional mode.
The immediate relief was that Firas was conscious alert and breathing but he wasn't without injury. He complained of shoulder pain on both sides, leg pain, bleeding from his chin area, various other injury sites. We questioned and assessed him and sent someone to call 911 as no cell service exists there.
The volunteer rescue squad BLS (Basic Life Support) took probably 30-45 minutes to get there. They took him away to intercept with an ALS (Advanced Life Support) Paramedic team.
With the additional personnel and equipment that we riders didn't have they determined he was injured badly enough to justify a helicopter transport to the trauma center at University of Tennessee Knoxville.
The next order of business was to notify his family which I have some experience with but let me tell you it was tough and she had a really rough time with it at first. I've been in communication with both Firas and his girlfriend Claribel and they have been strong throughout this whole ordeal. Claribel started handling business and drove straight through to visit with Firas.
We got word later that evening that he had fractures to his L humerus and R clavicle along with a skull fracture. Fortunately the skull fracture was a misdiagnosis from a bad radiology scan and a repeat scan ruled that out.
During the wait for help Firas told me that he had felt lightheaded and dizzy a few corners earlier and thought he should pull over and figure out what was going on, we all wish he had. Firas told me that he remembers feeling like he was about to pass out and then coming to in the ditch. For these reasons I suspect a medical issue caused the crash. Let's count our blessings that no oncoming vehicles were met.
I'm sorry to be so long winded but I know that there will be many questions asked.
I have Firas's permission to tell the group about his accident and post updates.
As you might imagine it's a busy, exhausting time for Firas, Claribel and his family.
Please post your well wishes here if you're so inclined. I'll be sure to get a link to this thread to Firas.
He's scheduled to have surgery today and I'll post any updates to this post as I can.

I'd like to remind everyone that the mountains are a fun place to ride but a bad place to get hurt. Help is a long way out.

Updated 04/29/19 1845
I just heard from Firas's girlfriend Claribel and the surgeries were lengthy but he came through it well. He now has a collection of plates and screws.

Update 04/30/19 1225
Latest text message from Claribel.
He's doing a bit better . He's in a lot more pain than yesterday but that's because of the extensive amount of work they had to do during the surgery . They are keeping him comfortable. And he's resting

Update 05/01/19
Firas is supposed to be discharged this morning and heading out for the long trip home.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 01:00:09 pm by Wayniac »

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2019, 02:46:28 pm »
Thanks Wayne. Good thing you were there. Best to Firas on the healing process, never like to hear stories like this.  Steve
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Offline RWulf

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2019, 04:31:08 pm »
Pass on all our best wishes.

Offline COGnosticator

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 05:13:35 pm »
That is a dangerous downhill, right hand decreasing radius curve when coming from Hellbender.  I am glad he didn't get hurt worse and wish him a speedy recovery.
Jerry Holland  COG  4478
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Offline connie_rider

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2019, 05:14:56 pm »
Sorry to hear of this.
Please keep us posted on his healing, and pass on best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Ride safe, Ted
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Offline funsize

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2019, 05:52:56 pm »
I'm glad you were there to help him.  He's in my prayers.

Irene
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Offline connieklr

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2019, 07:21:25 pm »
We lost a rider in about that same spot during the 2009 National. I was the COG Insurance Coordinator at the time and responsible for all the requisite paperwork. Not a fun task.

Trust the gent heals quickly.
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Offline Rideezdale

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2019, 07:30:10 pm »
Prayers for a full and speedy recovery!
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Offline Bud

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2019, 07:48:56 pm »
Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!  You'll get there man!
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Offline ron203

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 09:29:56 pm »
Thank you for the update Wayne.
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Offline Wayniac

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 10:05:34 pm »
Updated information in the original post.

Offline Volcantour

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 10:20:38 pm »
Thank you for posting this information. Best wishes for Firas!
TCARS, y'all

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Offline Bugnut

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 11:16:57 pm »
As mentioned at the banquet, if there is a go fund me or other rider assist for the life flight, etc, please let us know. Those being generally not covered by typical insurance, it can be life changing in so many ways besides the physical injuries.

Mike

Offline Bob_C_CT

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2019, 11:39:05 pm »
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Glad you guys were there to assist.
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Offline Wayniac

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2019, 12:09:18 am »
Thanks Bugnut
I've given that some thought too. I'll stay in touch with them and see what they need.

Offline Road Runner

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2019, 01:07:17 am »
God speed on his recovery, thanks for posting and your professional work onsite.
David L. Hamil
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Offline Wayniac

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2019, 03:28:48 pm »
Another update has been added to the original post.

Offline COGnosticator

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2019, 03:40:25 pm »
Thanks for keeping us update Wayne.  He has a long way to go, but it looks like he will mend to ride another, thanks to you and your friend who were at the right place and time.
Jerry Holland  COG  4478
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Offline millerized

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2019, 04:16:04 pm »

He now has a collection of plates and screws.

Update 04/30/19 1225
but that's because of the extensive amount of work they had to do during the surgery.
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Heal well!

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Offline Roger Dodger

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2019, 04:32:09 pm »
I remember when I did this once (or twice) and I remember how friends make all the difference!  You guys are to be commended for helping Firas out of a bad situation!

Firas, This too shall pass ... and you are going to be better for it!  Heal well ... and know that we are all here to help in any way possible!   :)

Offline lather

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2019, 08:00:37 pm »
Best wishes for a fast and full recovery Firas!

Offline Wayniac

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2019, 01:00:33 pm »
Update in the original post.

Offline Bugnut

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2019, 04:40:11 pm »
Very good news! Thanks Wayne for keeping us in the loop.

Mike

Offline 4Bikes

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2019, 10:54:59 pm »
At a COG rally I was leading a group ride and had rider #5 of of 9 riders go down on as series of downhill switchbacks.  It’s unnerving as you get flagged down to turn around and help that rider.   Good on this group to take care of the rider, and obviously it ruins the day and has serious consequences for the rider involved. This incident was far more serious than the one I described, and glad he is recovering. The rider I’m describing had Canyon Cages and we picked up the bike and taped the mirror together at the next town and he finished the ride. We can all learn from these incidents and need to realize that most of our group rides end well. Good news from what I’m seeing here. 
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Offline KnoxSwift

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Re: COG Member down Updated information here
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2019, 11:47:30 am »
Best wishes to all involved
Hopefully the doctors not only fix the injuries but figure out the root cause of his dizziness.