Kitimat comes to aid of fallen cyclist

Cyclist overwhelmed by professional and prompt response from local citizens

Sean Glanville

A Kitimat woman suffered a nasty spill cycling last Sunday leaving her needing surgery on her wrist.

26-year-old Emily Parsons, an experienced cyclist, suffered a malfunction on her bike which led to her flying over her handlebars.

Parsons was taken by ambulance to Kitimat General Hospital with a fractured wrist, which required surgery and two permanent pins.

After being discharged from the hospital, Parsons learned her family and friends were extremely worried for her after a local media outlet had reported online that she had been struck by a vehicle.

“I was at the hospital waiting for surgery and people came in saying they heard I was hit by a car and then I was picking up my prescriptions and my neightbours said that too, so I was trying to figure out why everyone kept asking me if I was hit by a car,” says Parsons. “A vehicle stopped and parked behind me to stop traffic, but I was not struck by a vehicle.”

Parsons was cycling down Haisla Boulevard when she stood up on her bike to gain momentum so she could get through the second set of lights at Lahakas Boulevard without stopping, then suddenly she found herself laying on the pavement.

“My gear jammed and it stopped my bike instantly, my chain slipped off and my foot went past the pedal and because I was going so fast I went over my handlebars,” says Parsons. “I was going down the hill and all of a sudden it was ‘oh crap’, and then I was lying on the cement saying to myself ‘Am I gonna walk away from this or do I really need an ambulance?'”

Luckily for Parsons, the accident occurred at the towns busiest intersection and she had immediate help. She described the response from citizens as something ‘right out of a first aid class.’

“Very quickly there was a lot of trained first aid people right around me. There was a gentleman who held my hand and a firefighter from Terrace who called the ambulance and did C Spine on me, another woman who was a level 3 first aider from RTA also stopped,” said Parsons. “It was right out of a first aid class and it was absolutely excellent. Everyone reassured me that everything would be fine and they all knew what they were doing and it was absolutely wonderful.”

Parsons even had somebody drive her bike to her home.

She has been hooked on cycling ever since she took part in a 200-km fundraiser last summer for the Alberta Cancer Society. She credits wearing her helmet as a major blessing.

“I’m aware of how to ride correctly and there was no other vehicles around me it was just a freak accident,” said Parsons.  “Having my helmet on was definitely my saving grace or else I’d have a very bad brain injury for sure.”

She hopes to spread the word on how essential wearing a helmet and learning basic road safety measures are to preventing injuries.

“When you are young you don’t have that fear factor and I see lots of young people at the skate park without a helmet or riding backwards on the roads,” says Parsons. “Their needs to be more education and safety awareness on this topic.”

Parsons will be in a cast for six weeks but plans to be back on my bike before then. She also pulled some tendons in her knee so will be easing back into cycling through low intensity rehab exercise.

 

 

 

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