Forty days and forty nights. That’s how long Susan Blum (above) was in hospital recovering from life-threatening injuries because of an encounter she had with . . . a tree root.
Blum’s run-in with the root occurred when she was participating in a bike festival in early June near Prince Albert. The long-time competitive cyclist, who logs more than 10,000 kilometres a year on her bike, was coming down a hill on a clear, straight line when her front tire jammed against the root and abruptly stopped. Blum’s forward momentum threw her over the handlebars face-first onto the ground and, with her shoes clipped into the pedals, the bike cartwheeled overtop.
“While being transported to Royal University Hospital, I didn’t fully understand the severity of my injuries,” says Blum. “I couldn’t move anything from my neck down. There was a lot of pain. But I could feel things and if I could feel pain and someone’s touch, I had hope and optimism that things would be okay.”
Upon her arrival at RUH, the trauma and surgical teams spent nine hours triaging and treating injuries involving her spine, fractured ribs, a dislocated shoulder, severe facial cuts and broken hands. Blum spent eight days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) before being moved to Surgery 5000 in-patient ward and then others wards at RUH, and later transferred to Saskatoon City Hospital for intensive rehabilitation care.
Susan is extremely grateful to be alive – and that RUH was ready.