Are you ever prepared for an accident?

Breakfast following most recent CT scan with great results. A miracle.

Last summer, on a hot June morning, I received the call that no one wants to get: My husband, a safety-oriented, avid bicyclist in excellent physical shape, experienced a serious fall while on a group ride. He had left the house at 5:30am and, within two hours, was in the emergency room having sustained a traumatic head injury despite his helmet and steadfast caution.

He was hospitalized at Advocate Lutheran General’s critical intensive care unit where he was kept on a ventilator for approximately 5 days. From there, he was transferred to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab head injury unit for 3 weeks. There, under the care of a head injury specialist, he received intensive rehabilitation from physical, occupational, and speech/language therapists. Nursing care focused on safety, and he was kept in a closed bed (I called it a”zip lock” tent bed) as a precaution until he was discharged to our home with the instructions of 24/7 care over the July Fourth weekend. Eugene was fortunate to have such expert in patient care.

At home, we needed to take into account safety features to prevent him from wandering or falling. Simultaneously, it was recommended that he continue his rehabilitation on an out-patient basis for 2-3 months at the Shirley Ryan Day Rehab program in Ravenswood. I usually accompanied him in order to observe his physical therapy (for strengthening, balance and endurance) and speech and occupational therapy, which focused on his ability to regain his cognitive and executive functioning. He was tested by a neuropsychologist in order to track his progress, which ultimately advanced close to his previous high-level function. Thankfully, Eugene’s excellent pre-accident health condition served him well for his recovery

According to an article published by The Wall Street Journal by Lucette Lagnado (2017, October 11), hospital admissions due to bicycle-related traumas increased by 120% based upon 15 years of national data. Additionally, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Trauma Center found a 34.5% rise in injuries involving bicycles from 2014-2016.

While health insurance and Medicare may cover a piece of the medical expenses, the out-of-pocket costs, including lost earnings from recovery and caregiving in lieu of working, are enough to quickly deplete a significant amount in anyone’s bank account. The emotional ramifications following any accident cannot be quantified, but there are ways to equip yourself and your loved ones to lessen the financial burden and allow a quicker transition into healing and recovery.

If you would like to discuss ways to prepare yourself and your family in the instance of an accident, please contact us.