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Your Healthy Family: Colorado Springs man breaks neck mountain biking

Posted at 12:30 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-09 11:27:49-04

For everyone who loves living in Colorado that almost always involves some kind of outdoor activity.  For Mike Hite it’s mountain biking.

Mike says, “It feels awesome, it’s a most wonderful thing to do this again.”  Mike doesn’t take his rides for granted these days, because less than a year ago he wondered if he might be able to ever get on his bike again following an accident while riding in Palmer Park.

Mike explains, “I was riding down the trail that I wasn’t familiar with, I was tired and I was going very cautiously.  I dropped the front wheel in a hole or behind a rock or something, I really don’t know and my bike shot up and stopped in a vertical position, and I went straight down on my head.”

Mike knew instantly something had gone terribly wrong.  “When I first crashed I knew I had broken my neck, I heard the bones breaking.  I didn’t know how bad it was, I’m lying there I could move my fingers move my toes, but I didn’t just didn’t know.  I knew the theses can go terribly wrong very quickly.”

Dr. Paul Reckard was on duty in the emergency department at UCHealth Memorial Central where Mike was eventually taken.  Dr. Reckard says, “His 6th cervical vertebrae had a cracked through the lamina. We do occasionally see folks with this exact same accident the come in with spinal cord injuries, who are then paralyzed for a long period of time.”

In my next story I’ll have more about Mike’s accident, his injuries and the trauma care he received at Memorial, that has been in place for years that recently earned them a level trauma I designation from the state of Colorado.