|The man can walk! Posed nexted to out tandem, a very filthy tandem, outside at his house.|
Two weeks ago one of my favorite people to ride with fell off a ladder 15' and broke his back and wrist. Just a moment that could have killed him or left him paralyzed. If you can say anything about this you can say he was lucky. He did not die and will make a strong recovery. Donnie will not be able to schelp tools and equipment around like he has done for 35 years as a boiler maker but he will be back on a bicycle next Spring.
The news of his fall came as a shock. This is the third Hildreth that I ride with to suffer a major life altering crash. Immediate thoughts were whether he would be able to walk again. We visited him a couple of times during his stay at Methodist Hospital. He seemed in good spirits as his wife Renae was too. This was reassuring. However, he did require surgery on his back and wrist. A few vertebrae were shattered and his wrist was trashed as well. I think L2,3 and 4 had pins placed in them. His wrist needed a plate that was described as looking similar to the cleaning tool of the George Foreman grill. Funny considering his nickname is Toolman. His surgeon has a similar plate. 65 stitches.
|Terrible photo but I did not feel like running a fullass photoshoot in the hospital. Because Donnie needed to stay still on his back they fitted him with these special glasses that allowed him to see ahead without sitting up or lifting his head.|
His stay at the hospital was about two weeks. "this ain't a place for healing. I was motivated to walk out and finish recovery at home," he told us. So today we rode to his home south of Cumming and paid him a visit.
I needed 23 miles for my goal of 1000 miles for the month. More importantly, we needed to show him that he was not forgotten. Mary and I took the fast tandem. A headwind slowed us down but it was a beautiful day despite the overcast. One stop at the Cumming Tap for a soda and to send the warning text that we'd be over soon.
Donnie was watching football, Iowa v Maryland. We latter went to his giant garage for a refreshment and he gave us the tour. Mary had never been there before. Toolman is quite appropriate given his vast collection of tools. I got the honor of changing his calendar given that the month was over. So long Miss October, hello Miss November. Later he was heading to a Halloween party. He considered dressing as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle but said he did not know how to do it. I suggested he go as a Star Wars storm trooper.
A great visit. Donnie is walking with the assistance of a cane. He's also looking forward to biking again. After getting the news of his fall I feared he'd never ride again. The sun came out as we left and a tailwind jetted us home. Good times around the corner. Donnie is back. Just needs a long winters rest.