Sanremo to Km 631 Via Aurelia – 41 kms. Site of collision
Unfortunately today’s blog post may be the last one for a while, as our trip has come to an unfortunate and unexpected halt. While cycling up a hill on a relatively calm road on a sunny day, Paul was suddenly hit from behind by a car. After being thrown from his bicycle and landing on the road, Lois, who had been cycling behind and witnessed the collision, feared the worst. In the minutes and hours following, a terrifying trip to a local trauma centre and hours of tests and waiting began to reassure us that we were incredibly, incredibly lucky.
In fact three days later, Paul is sitting up in his hospital bed, smiling, and looking forward to continuing our trip in one form or another.
Given the potential for a far, far more tragic outcome, coming out smiling is quite simply a marvel. This is not to say that Paul emerged unscathed, as he has cracked three ribs, had two small pneumothoraces and one crushed vertebrae (D5), numerous cuts and abrasions and has been dealing with some quite significant nerve pain across his shoulders and arms from oedema of the cervical spinal cord. While this has improved in the days since the accident, it will be a while before we can consider getting back on the road. We are grateful for the very high quality care that Paul is receiving at the Ospedale Santa Corona in Pietra Ligure.
We will be flying home to Vancouver in the next few days where Paul will likely face spinal surgery and some time to recover.
It is a frustrating and disappointing end to a journey that we felt had really just begun. If you’ve been following our blog over the past weeks, you’ve experienced with us the lows (struggles against hills and winds) and the highs (delightful conversations with locals, wonderful food, and gorgeous landscapes). We had reached the point where we had settled into our daily routine, once again feeling that waking up to another day of cycling was normal. It will be a difficult adjustment.
Yet this is not the end. Though the next few weeks and months will be a challenge, we will spend much of it looking forward to picking up where we left off. That may not include bicycles, but it will still include circling the world, exploring those countries we’ve never had a chance to see, raising awareness of Parkinson’s, chasing the perfect espresso, and enjoying the life that we have once again been reminded is so vitally precious. Thank you to all of you who have followed us on this journey, we hope you’ll pick up with us again when we’re ready to go once again.