Broken Skull, Broken Heart

Thank you for sharing your gripping, horrifying and inspirational story with a readership that I hope will take a lesson from it. As a 23-year-old carefree inline skater, it took a concerned boyfriend who worked with traumatic brain injury patients to convince me to wear a helmet EVERY time I skated. Now as a 40-year-old bike commuter, I cringe every time I see a helmetless biker or skateboarder out on the roads and trails of San Diego. There are so many, and there seems to be no understanding that the sidewalks/roads don't get any softer just because you're "just going a few blocks". I actually managed to use your story to successfully convince my partner, a longtime surfer and former skateboarder, that coolness and convenience were no excuse for biking without a helmet. Just on a sidenote,I've seen some posts about helmets giving a "false sense of security." I've seen this in bike safety circles as well and have to respond. Of course a helmet will not protect a skater or biker from all traffic and environmental injuries. Of course common sense and other precautionary measures are needed. But the fact that a helmet doesn't fix everything should not obscure the fact that it preserves a very important thing--the structural integrity of the wearer's skull and brain. For months I've been planning to do a post on my bike commuter blog inspired by your story, and upon further review I realize I should just DO IT rather than continue to be silent on this issue. Thank you for sharing and best wishes for your continued recovery.
— November 6, 2010 1:50 a.m.

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