On July 19, 2009, a minivan crashed into the bicycle of Canadian Robert Wein while he was riding in a bike lane in Kanata, Canada. The hit-and-run accident left Wein with a traumatic brain injury and four of his friends were injured. Wein was left with no memory of the terrible incident. An article in the Ottawa Citizen reported that he could not relate his confused state of mind to the brain injury he had suffered. Finally, toward the end of 2009, Wein realized fully that he had suffered a serious blow in the accident.
Now, Wein struggles to relearn how to relate to his body, how to walk properly, balance, and remember the names of his friends and associates. The fateful crash took place only a week after Wein, who was in prime physical condition, had completed a triathlon. In addition to the brain injury, Wein also sustained an injury to his abdomen, a collapsed lung, severe road rash, and a broken rib, according to the Ottawa Citizen article.
Wein was wearing a bicycle helmet when he was hit by the minivan, but it shattered when he hit the ground. He was unconscious in the hospital after the crash and doctors told his family he might never regain consciousness. The Glasgow Coma scale score the doctors gave him suggested only a 50 percent chance of living through the injury.
After three weeks in an induced coma to reduce the swelling on his brain, doctors allowed Wein to awaken and began teaching him how to eat food and swallow again. Eventually, he was moved from the Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital to the Ottawa Rehabilitation Centre. When he first landed at the center, he required a wheelchair and needed assistance to turn over in bed. He could barely move the wheelchair with his arms. The brain injury had left his short term memory and motor control in less than perfect states.
Wein wears an eyepatch to correct his double vision. He told the Citizen, ‘That way at least it looks like I’m injured,’ he says, grinning again. ‘I want to fit in here.’ After months of rehabilitation, Wein is on the way to teaching his brain how to repair itself and to allow him to use his body the ways he used to. He walks with the use of a walker, and his memory improves slightly, day by day.
After another month in the rehabilitation centre, Wein plans to move to the Robin Easey Centre to get assistance with his daily living skills. We wish Robert Wein a full recovery.
Duffy, Andrew. (February 19, 2010) ‘After the crash.’ Retrieved on February 22, 2010 from the Ottawa Citizen Web site:http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/After+crash/2587362/story.html