Roger's Recovery - Medical Expenses

On Wednesday, January 21, 2015, my brother Roger Sutton was doing what he loves most - cruising at race pace alone on his mountain bike at the Santos Trailhead. As an avid competitive cyclist with many wins to his name, he knew this trail like the back of his hand. Unfortunately, that day, he hit an unexpected ramp that caused a nasty crash. 

Once his cycling buddies happened upon him and EMS took him to the hospital, the seriousness of his injury began to be evident. CT scan revealed a completely crushed C1 (the first vertebrae in the neck). The way the trauma neurosurgeon phrased it was, "he basically has disconnected his head from his spine internally." He also said, "I've never seen a fracture this bad in a non-paralyzed patient."

What does that mean? Essentially... the fact that he survived this crash at all is a miracle. This is generally regarded as a fatal injury. IF someone survives, they are immediately rendered a quadraplegic (paralyzed from the neck down) for the rest of their life. There is no correcting it. Often, they are reliant on a trach and ventilator for the rest of their life as well. (Think Christopher Reeves)

He had surgery Thursday afternoon and now has a plate with rods and screws anchoring from the base of his skull down through the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th vertebrae. He will wear a rigid neck collar for support for the next 3 months, but ultimately will not be able to turn his head side to side and will have very limited flexion and extension (the ability to look at the ground or the sky).

That all sounds pretty limiting for a guy whose entire life has centered around being an elite athlete. He has been told he will never ride a bike again, so will be looking for a new, less-aggressive hobby. It is uncertain exactly how long until he will be returning to work. 

The miracle is this - He is alive, alert, oriented, moving all extremities, breathing on his own, and walking the hallways of the hospital just 3 days later!

We thank the many friends, family, and cycling buddies who have visited, called, texted, and prayed for healing. Roger is doing fantastic - just as he does with everything he tries! When he goes home, he would love your visits to help occupy the time.

To help with the medical expenses of his hospitalization, we would appreciate your donations to this GoFundMe campaign. This will help ease the strain on Roger & Jill while he's not working. 


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Jennie Sutton Stout 
Ocala, FL
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