Things were going swimmingly, until late Saturday night 13 miles outside of Cheyenne Wyoming.
It was 12:30 AM. Zac was going to stop in Cheyenne. 13 miles. It was cold, and he was wearing all of the clothes that he had with him because it was so old. He was wearing a helmet. So even though being on the road that late was a bad idea, those things probably saved his life.
After hearing portions of the story never totally together this is what happened next from what I have gathered.
Zac was going about 60 miles per hour. He when we first saw the deer, she was 20 seconds away. She stepped into the road, then stepped out, the she stepped back into Zac’s path. Zac says that when you are taught to ride a motorcycle, they say: DO NOT SWERVE. So he didn’t have much chance to react beyond that thought. So according to his own account, he let out a viking cry, “AAAAHHHHH!!!” As he hit the deer.
Things get a little fuzzy between this moment and the time he hit the ground.
So on the moment of impact he was able to stay on the bike. He says he remembers the deer being there with him for a minute. Which means that on the moment of impact his fender must have impaled the deer. I imagine time must have been going more slowly here.
He says that for a moment we was slowing down, him and the deer right there on the front of the bike. He thought to himself, “I might be ok, I might be able to slow down and stay in control.”
But, the next thing he knew, he was on the road. The deer was nowhere.
He must have rolled at this point. He says he has a vague memory of hitting the road. then of sliding, the bike somehow behind him sliding too.
He was able to stand up. Flag down a car with a couple of girls in it. He explained to them what happen and asked them to call 911. Then he laid down and hurt. Waited for the ambulance to arrive. It did eventually come. He called Krysta from the Ambulance. She was up the rest of the night.
He was taken to a hospital in Cheyenne. His injuries were serious enough to have him transferred to a level one trauma center. University of Utah was the one he pick. He took a 4 hour ambulance ride to Utah. Before it was clear he was being transferred Krysta we getting ready to leave to Wyoming. So it was really good news when they found out he was coming somewhere closer to home.
Still, Krysta and Zac are the kind of friends who drop everything at a moments notice and do all in their power to help. So, it is no surprise that there were many people ready to jump and help them at a moments notice.
We got to the hospital at 10:30 and it turned out that Zac had just arrived. Still we couldn’t see him. About an hour later, they took Krysta back and Karen and I sat and watched the Golden Girls.
Right after Krysta went back our friemds Pete, Krizel, and their son Joel too arrived.
They brought snacks and games.
This was really good for Karen. She needed someone to distract her.
The news Krysat brought was bad bud not terrible. Zac had indeed shattered his collar bone, and they would be doing more painful imaging before we knew much more. He was in a ton of pain but happy to be near his family.
A few minutes after Krysta arrived she was gone again, this time taking Pete and Karen back with her. She left me, Krizel and Joel in the waiting room. Pete was there to give Zac a blessing. Which he did. He came out soon afterwards and left Karen and Krysta alone with Zac. He said Karen was having a hard time. I went to the bathroom and when I came back a social worker was standing with Karen and the group comforting her and offering help. It had been a little too hard for miss Karen.
Here is how he was when she saw him:
She couldn’t hug him, or really touch him and she was really upset. It wasn’t just that her dad had been in a accident, it was also that they had been apart for so long, she had waited so patiently…
After lunch in the cafeteria, Pete and Krizel said goodbye. They were flying back to Thailand the next day and had to go home and get ready for the trip. They took Karen with them and dropped her off at my house. She wanted to stay, but things were getting a little to difficult for her t be able to handle.
Zac was moved into the ICU.
It turned out after more advanced imaging he had 6 broken ribs, a shattered collar bone, and a broken shoulder blade. It was ribs one to six. People usually don’t survive breaks of rib one, it is right over your lungs and hear and they tent to get punctured by the broken ribs.
As I was about to go and see Zac his dad and step mom got there. His dad was going up to Wyoming to get the bike. So I waited a little while longer. It was the week that Pokemon Go came out so I was fine and kept myself very busy.
I was able to see Zac around 4. I had been there all day and was not worried at all about it but when I walked in and saw him in bed I burst into tears.
“Why were you riding late at night? Don’t you know there are people who love you and need you and why were you driving late at night??”
He just laughed at me and told me he wanted to be with his family.
I said I was going to take a picture, so he put on a pain show for me.
This is him telling me not to make him laugh, it made him hurt.
But Pokemon Go had it’s hooks into me.
I can see the worry and love in her face here.
Then I left around 9.
Krysta stayed the night. Karen stayed with us.
The end of the long day, the beginning of a long recovery.
Still so much to be thankful for.