Bicyclist Found With Head Injury on Negley
I was looking online to find out if anything else has been said about my fathers injury over this past year and wanted to share something I wrote with all of you… thank you.
This month marks a year since the day cops found my dad on the side of the road, in a pool of his own blood, having seizures, and left for dead. We had no idea what took place. My first thought was that it was a hit and run, beings as there was glass at the scene. . . Two days later we found out through the detectives that the glass was from an earlier accident, then later on that same day an eye witness came forward and said that she had seen 3 “men” get him from behind beating him half to death with a pipe of some sort. She thought for sure that he was dead. They did this for no valid reason. . he just happened to be riding his bicycle in a shit ass neighborhood at the wrong time. The witness did not want to be identified nor did she want to make and further statements or give any descriptions. She feared for her life as well. On top of her statement, the doctors also verified it most likely being assault as he had all head injuries.
The picture I imagine of this scene is etched into my brain permanently . . . words can not fully describe how I felt when I walked into his ICU room. I could not breathe. It felt as though someone was suffocating me and ripping my heart out of my chest at the same time.
In order to save my fathers life, and to stop further brain damage the doctors had to take a significant piece of his skull off and also remove the damaged (deemed useless) brain tissue. This procedure is called a “craniotomy” He was also hooked up to every machine possible it seemed like and remained in a coma for 2 months.
Over the course of a year he has made significant recovery so far. He can now wheel himself around in a wheel chair, he can talk, he knows who some people are, he can also feed himself and is now starting to walk (with us holding him). Most of the things he says, however, does not make any sense and 80% of the time he is just very hostile and screaming obscenities at everyone. He does not know how or when to bathe himself nor does he know when he needs to use the rest room. And, obviously, requires 24 hour care.
Trust me, I am well aware that we have tons to be thankful for in this situation- he has come a LONG way, and I realize this. My mom, brother, grandma, and I are very grateful to still have him with us and we all greatly appreciate all the doctors and anyone who has helped to save/improve his life since August 2008. We also really appreciate anyone who has came to visit him since he came out of the coma. Though, I have not gotten much help in that area, I do believe the more people who visit him that he knows the more it will wake his brain up and maybe help him start to remember things. Everyone usually just feeds me the lame excuse of “oh, i hate hospitals” Whatever. It really agitates me b/c I know he would be there for ANYONE in a heart beat!
What prompted me to write this today and finally share the details and my feelings of this situation was me being angry about when I took my dad to his Dr. appt. yesterday and no one to really vent to. . . . the paper can handle my aggressive writing. About this appointment, someone had contacted security at the hospital b/c while we were waiting for the elevator my father was screaming his usual obscenities. When security approached us they said “what’s going on, what is the problem here” They did not seem to understand when we explained to them that he has a brain injury and does not really know what he’s saying and is not aware that he is offending anyone. So, they proceeded to escort us out of the hospital and off of the property.
If I did not have more self control and was not more concerned with trying to calm my dad down I would have spit in all of their faces!
My worst fear from this point on is that he may have possibly reached the base-line of his recovery process. I don’t know what to think or do.
I did not write this for sympathy what so ever, and I realize I’m not the only person in this situation also that some people are less fortunate than I and have lost their loved one to something of this sort. I simply wrote this to vent and try to let go of some of the emotions I feel. . . Most importantly, I wrote this to remind those of you (and myself) that take family and friends for granted. . One day everything/everyone is fine and the next your world comes crashing down.
And to the 3 “men” who felt the need to meaninglessly ruin my fathers life. . . you will get yours, and I truly believe that. Even though we don’t know who you are or how to find you, someone else will. Someday. I hope you fucking suffer, and get to see the pain in your families eyes as they suffer. Fuck you.
To everyone who has kept my father in their prayers, I thank each and everyone of you. Hopefully he continues to recover and get better.
I would print this thread and hand-deliver it to the head of security in that hospital, making sure they know who you are, both you and your Dad, so you don’t get hustled out the next time you have to go there. At the very least they owe you an apology.
What’s scary about this story is that there were a couple of other incidents very recently, described on this board, that sounded similar to this, but fortunately having a much happier ending (though still not happy). I wonder if it’s the same culprits, same part of town.
Such a sorrowful and frightening story.
This may give you some hope.
My mother had serious brain surgery for a burst aneurism once. Six months after the surgery she was still… not quite there. I thought that would just be the way she would be, but over the course of a couple of years, she got back to (more or less) normal.
Life is fragile.
I pray they catch the bastards who did this to your dad.What’s so scary is this can happen to other cyclists.I often bike from work at night, sometimes going through East Liberty, and always did feel a little uneasy going through that area.Again,my thoughts and prayers go out to your dad and family.
I hope it helped to ‘vent’ – even if only a little – it is so hard to understand how this is for you, I mean really understand, it is incomprehensible until you go through something similar. My prayer are with you and your family too.
wow joanna. over the past year i’ve frequently wondered what ever happened with him. we haven’t been able to find out any information. i remember a brief article about it, but doesn’t the media usually publicize these types of attacks in the hopes of finding the assailants?
my deepest sympathies. i hope your vent helped – feel free to anytime. if there is anything we can do (i’m an admin here and work for BikePGH) just let me know
(StuInMcCandless) that is such a good idea and next time I go I will have that printed out and in my hand.
I don’t know why the media did stop doing reports on this incident. It seemed like after a day and a half they stopped saying anything at all about it. I sent an email to everyone having anything to do with the investigation and also called the detectives working on the case and none of them really had anything to say, just that they had no leads on the case. There are other means of doing the investigation is what I thought. Maybe they could do a drug bust in that shitty neighborhood and have someone snitch the guys who did it to get a lighter sentence. Idk. Just something I thought up. It’s far too late to have a case against anyone now though.
But to everyone who bikes in that area..I would say if at all possible, avoid it after 9pm. Take the extra time to go around it.
I do remember my dad calling me one night and telling me about these young black kids (17-18yrs old) throwing rocks and screaming stuff at him any time he would ride past there. But he would say “I’m not going to let these kids scare me, I’ve been riding my bike around this area for years. I’ll just ignore them.” I was thinking it may have been those young kids trying to look tough. My dad still had his money and wallet on him too.
Anyways, thanks for all of the support and stay safe out there please!!
good god, joanna. i don’t know how i missed this thread being bumped last week, but i’m so so sorry to hear about this attack on your father and the wake that you all have had to deal with as a result. i hope your father recovers, but besides that i hope justice is served.
following stu’s advice, i would send your letter to the head of the hospital and cc: the head of security. go to the top with this.
it sucks that the news report makes the audience believe this was over drugs. even if it was, no one deserves this, but just mentioning the possibility probably caused many viewers to just shrug this off. if it was just a random act of violence the media owes it to you and your family to make this right and do a follow-up story.
like erok said, if you need anything stay in touch. Also, if you want to work with us to figure out how to get some more press around this tragedy, help find the people who did this, and to keep other people safe in this area let us know.
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