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Old 06-19-01, 01:46 PM   #1
Cheryl
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Friend Crashed

Last night a group of "A" riders were out for one of their weekday rides. There were about 50 of them. Our friend Theo was toward the back, pumping hard to catch back up. An SUV turned in front of him. He hit the back quarter panel of the car and his head(helmeted,luckily) went through the side window of the car. He cut a branch of the carotid artery and has several facial lacerations. He lost alot of blood and they were not sure he would live on the three minute ride to the hospital. They worked for 6 hours to stabilize him. As of 3am Tuesday he was stable. The doctors do not think there was any neurological or spinal damage, but it is too soon to tell. They are keeping him paralyzed and unconscience with meds. We've been praying all day.

I'm relaying this to all my BF buddies because I want you all to remember that we are riding for fun and fitness. Please be careful. Theo is a 26 year old guy with a heart of gold. I am beside myself. He is 13 years my Junior but so encouraging when we ride together. He always waits for my slow a**. Riding next to me laughing and talking and urging me on. I've attended every race he's ridden in, cheerleading and screaming to get the extra lap out of those legs. In his effort to catch the pack he was riding with his head down, pumping hard. I was told that there was no way for him to avoid the collision, even if he were looking up.

Be extra dilligent. Keep your wits about you. Keep your eyes open and UP. Be alert. Be aware. Remember, it's your Life we're talking about here.

Pray.
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Old 06-19-01, 02:08 PM   #2
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Good reminders Cheryl, I and my family will join in the prayers for Theo.
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Old 06-19-01, 02:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cheryl

Pray.
Consider it done!

Please keep us informed of Theo's progress, Cheryl.
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Old 06-19-01, 03:53 PM   #4
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Theo will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sounds to me like he is a special member of our 'family', so we will all be pulling for him!
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Old 06-19-01, 04:43 PM   #5
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Cheryl, you can count on your buds from BF. One thing I've learned about prayer is that if you want specific prayers answered, you've got to pray specific prayers. What is the name of your friend who crashed?

Last edited by A F Baker; 06-19-01 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 06-19-01, 08:09 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Cheryl
Pray.
Count me in.
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Old 06-19-01, 10:57 PM   #7
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Hope your friend is OK, I'll be rooting for him, too.
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Old 06-20-01, 12:20 AM   #8
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Consider it done!
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Old 06-20-01, 01:50 AM   #9
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Thanks Cheryl,

Hoping that Theo will be on his bike soon...

I'll say a prayer...

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Old 06-20-01, 06:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by A F Baker
Cheryl, you can count on your buds from BF. One thing I've learned about prayer is that if you want specific prayers answered, you've got to pray specific prayers. What is the name of your friend who crashed?
Theo Chao.

The update as of Wed. am. He is still unconscience and critical. His Mom flew in from Taiwan last night. We're still praying.

Thanks to you all, it makes me feel hopefull when I know there are so many people sending positive energy his way.
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Old 06-20-01, 07:58 AM   #11
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Cheryl,
I saw your message right after you posted it yesterday, but my heart was in my throat so bad I could not even think of anything to say. Of course I am praying for Theo. And for you.
Regards,
Raymond
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Old 06-20-01, 10:43 AM   #12
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Every time I hear about a cyclist getting hit I feel the pain of their friends and family. Having never been in a serious accident I cannot entirely relate to what one must feel, but I know each of us put our lives on the line every time we pedal out of the driveway. Thank you for the reminder to cycle safely and with full alertness.
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Old 06-21-01, 06:13 AM   #13
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Here's our latest update. It looks like he'll be OK(she says with fingers crossed). I know that all of your positive energy helped! Thanks guys.





Rich and Crew,

Theo is improving. He is "spelling" words on the
sheets with his finger. One of his first questions was
whether or not his legs were broken. So we're guessing
that he's plotting his return to riding...

He's still on the respirator. An attempt was made to
remove it but it didn't work out. Hopefully it will be
out tomorrow. All signs point to no major problems with
arms, legs, torso, brain and/or eyes. Probable broken
cheekbone or eye socket bone surgery and neck surgery
are in the future. His helmet definitely saved his life.

Disregard the previous query about the driver. We
have received the latest information available from
other sources. Investigation appears to be ongoing.


**********************
Per Trentonian Newspaper
- Amateur cyclist Theodore Chao is in critical condition after being struck
by a car Monday night.
Cyclists are holding their breath for teammate Theodore Chao who is fighting
for his life after a car cut him off at a busy intersection during a club
ride Monday night.

"He lost a lot of blood," Art Keintz, a Knapp's Cyclery racing teammate and
Hamilton Township police officer, said after visiting his friend at an area
hospital yesterday.

Keintz may have saved Chao's life.

"If I hadn't been there to apply pressure to his neck he probably would have
lasted 30 seconds," said Keintz, who noted that Chao's carotid artery was
cut.

"There was a lot of blood. From experience, I know that he would have bled
out. I wouldn't say I saved his life. I did what I had to do."

Chao, who lives in Plainsboro, remains in critical condition at Capital
Health System Fuld.

Friends consider Chao an amateur cyclist. Wearing his team's orange, blue
and white colors Chao led a two-hour ride to Pennington-Hopewell sponsored
by Knapp's Cyclery in Lawrence. The Monday night rides try to teach cyclists
with a wide range of abilities how to ride safely on the roads.

Keintz was cycling right behind Chao. Using his first aid training from his
police work, he applied pressure with his hand to stop the flow of blood
from a gash in the large artery in Chao's neck that supplies blood from the
heart to the brain. Chao also cut his trachea.

Keintz told people around him to call 911. And specifically told the
dispatcher about Chao's injuries.

"I got a T-shirt and put that on Theo's neck to apply pressure," said
Keintz. "And I asked for rags from some motorists who stopped after the
T-shirts filled up."

Ride organizer and Knapp's Cyclery manager, Stephanie Garnich, said about 50
people were behind Chao on their way back to the shop cycling eastbound on
Eggerts Crossing Road in Lawrence. Police said Raheem Ernest Holloway, 24,
of Lawrence, the driver of a Ford Explorer who was driving in the opposite
direction made a quick turn into the 112th Field Artillery Armory driveway.

And the two collided.

"When you're going fast on a bike it's harder to stop at 25 mph than it is
to stop a car going at 25 miles per hour," said Lisa Muehleisen, a friend
and fellow cyclist.

Chao struck the side of the sports utility vehicle and struck his head on
the right rear window, police said. He suffered severe head, neck and face
injuries.

"Cars don't give cyclists much respect," Garnich reflected. "This was by no
means Theodore's fault. He had the right of way. The car driver made a
split-second decision."

The impact left Chao in shock as emergency crews made their way to the
scene.

Chao, 26, is from Taiwan.

He had just taken a new job as a lab technician with Wyeth Ayerst
pharmaceuticals.

He is a trumpet player and a fan of jazz. During the five years of earning
his undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education at The College of
New Jersey, he worked at Wheel Life Cycles in Hillsborough.

"Cycling was the most important thing in his life," said Wheel Life Cycles
owner Mark Barnett. He describes himself as one of Chao's closest contacts
in this country. Barnett, along with about ten other cyclist, converged at
Fuld Monday night while the medical staff tried to stabilize Chao. His
friends also contacted Chao's mother in Taiwan who arrived last night.

"He was enthusiastic about getting other people to ride," said Barnett. "He
was a good kid. A saint. He was giving to a fault, very generous. He's the
last person this kind of thing should happen to."

Riding companions are maintaining a vigil at Fuld for their friend.

"This is not about me never getting on my bike again," said Muehleisen.
"Theo would hate me if I did that."
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Old 06-21-01, 06:19 AM   #14
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I'm really happy that Theo is making a recovery..I'll continue to pray for his health to return in full...

Thanks for the update Cheryl, you really are a true friend to Theo.

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Old 06-21-01, 07:10 AM   #15
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Sadly, it sounds as though the motorist had one of those "Oh, it's only a bicycle" moments--only in this case it was, "Oh, it's only about fifty bicycles...."

The news of Theo's condition does sound encouraging. May he make a full and speedy recovery! Cheers to the police officer that luckily was right behind him, too.
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Old 06-21-01, 12:22 PM   #16
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Wow, as I read the article, I realized that I know this guy - he was very helpful when I was shopping for a road bike. My thoughts and prayers are with him. I admire his spunk, he sounds like he will overcome the odds!! Be safe out there, all!!
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Old 06-22-01, 09:28 AM   #17
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Here's the update I sent to our local gang this morning. I thought I'd share with you guys. It was REALLY hard to see him that way.

Howard and I went to the hospital last night. Theo is still in ICU and he has been communicatng with people by writing letters on the sheets and spelling words. He said he was scared The right side of his face is swollen and his eye is protruding a bit. He can't open his left eye to see, but he can hear and respond. It was hard to see him like that. I spoke with a nurse who said they were all surprised he has responded so well. She thinks he'll pull through. He was asleep the whole time we were there, which is what he needs. He gets agitated when people come into the room and he wants the C-collar off and the breathing tube out. They attempted yesterday but his throat was too swollen. They plan to do a CAT scan today to rule out head and neck injuries, if that is clear they will remove the collar. The tube will be removed when the swelling has gone down. The abdominal surgery was a result of abdomen distension from all the fluids he was given. His body could not absorb them fast enough and they operated to relieve the pressure. All in all he's as well as can be expected. It's a testament to his athleticism and health that he survived at all. The accident is being investigated, we have no more word about that. Mark B. is truly an amazing friend to have. He is taking care of everything you could think of, along with Eric Seither who was the person in the ambulance with Theo after the accident. These guys are something else. Theo's mom is there from Taiwan, she is staying with Mark and Mark is picking up Theo's sister today. The goodies we brought to the hospital were very much appreciated.

We will be going back on Saturday, anyone wishing to drop stuff at our house can do that any time.

Keep sending your positive energy his way, it looks like he'll be OK.

Last edited by Cheryl; 06-22-01 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 06-22-01, 11:26 AM   #18
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Glad to hear Theo's improving, Cheryl, we're still praying for his complete recovery.
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Old 06-22-01, 03:58 PM   #19
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Amen.
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Old 06-22-01, 05:00 PM   #20
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wow.
like someone else said, i couldn't reply when i first read this thread because it hit too close to home--similar story with a team mate being hit a few years ago. in his case the driver "fell asleep". yeah whatever. i remember feeling incredible anger. shock. grief.
it sounds as though your friend is going to pull through(as our friend did) and i hope things go well for him and his family. sounds like a good thing that his fellow team mate is a policeman...always helps to have witnesses!

will try to send positive energy....but it's hard. anytime i hear of a cyclist getting seriously injured due to the carelessness/impatience of a motor vehicle operator it makes me sad/mad/upset. when one of my friends/customers gets hit it often puts me "off" the road bike for days, weeks...months.

*sigh* ...probably not what you wanted to hear. sorry and my heart goes out to you and his other friends/family.
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Old 06-22-01, 06:59 PM   #21
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I will pray for his speedy recovery, and back to riding his bike
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Old 06-23-01, 08:18 PM   #22
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Cheryl, thanks for letting us know about Theo's accident and progress toward recovery. It sounds like a long road ahead. Godspeed and heal quickly Theo.....
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Old 06-24-01, 04:24 AM   #23
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Servus,

This whole thread has been hard for me to read as it hit very close to home.

Theo is strong - he'll be out with you in no time. May his recovery be swift and complete and may teh individual who caused this be brought to justice.
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