A Bizarre Twist of Fate
Added: Sun. Oct 25, 2009 7:14pm
Posted in: Cycling
A Bizarre Twist of Fate
When I broke my neck in a bicycle race less than 4 years ago, my board certified spine surgeon wanted to fuse my C1 cervical vertebra (the broken one) to the base of my skull. The procedure leaves the patient with a minimum of a 50% permanent reduction in neck mobility which would have effectively retired me from bicycle racing and perhaps even bicycle riding. A search for an expert in cervical spine fractures led me to Dr. Eismont at the University of Miami who was described by another surgeon I spoke with as the foremost expert in the cervical spine. Contact was made with his office with the goal of finding a surgeon who had served a fellowship under him and resided in the Tampa Bay area.
Fortunately, there were two such surgeons and between the two I chose Dr. Marc Weinstein in that he had been a varsity rower as an undergraduate at Rutgers University. I assumed he would understand the psyche of a fellow athlete who was anxious to get back to competition. Dr. Weinstein ultimately guided my treatment to a successful resolution sans surgery.
There is currently a book being authored by Rose Marie Ray telling the story of my successful comeback from a broken neck. It is entitled, “From Broken Neck to Broken Records, a Masters Cyclist’s Guide to Winning.” Rose Marie is the author of the book, “Super Women Do IT Less,” and is also a champion cyclist. The manuscript is finished and is currently in the hands of a graphics designer who is doing the layout for the book and the cover. It was thought that an interesting cover would be an image of a CT Scan depicting my neck fracture with a superimposed picture of me on my racing bike.
I contacted Dr. Weinstein soliciting his assistance in supplying us with an image of my fracture which he readily agreed to. Some weeks had passed, and I had not heard from him so I wrote him an email inquiring as to when he might be able to send the image.
This was his email reply:
I had pulled some images from the CD but then.....
Almost 3 weeks ago I was struck by a SUV while on my time trial bike. I suffered a C3 fracture but was VERY lucky: not dead, not quadriplegic, no surgery. I am in a collar like yours and am unable to operate for 2 months. I just went back to work in office this week so let me track down the file and forward the images to you.
How incredibly bizarre is it that the very surgeon who treated me for a fractured neck the result of a bicycle accident fractures his own neck riding his bicycle? The world truly sometimes works in strange ways.