Cyclist marvels at his recovery following serious accident
Two months after he was involved in a serious vehicular accident that nearly took his life, 32-year-old motorcyclist Nigel Small has left the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and is back home, working on getting back to his old self.
So serious was his condition following the June 13 accident, that his mother Eva and brother Demi were forced to deny rumours circulating on social media that he had died.
With doctors telling her at the time that they were closely monitoring the brain injury her son had suffered, but they would not operate on him, the mother was worried.
“He has blood on his brain and his lungs ain’t functioning properly,” she told Barbados TODAY three days after Small’s motorcycle had collided with a minibus.
When Barbados TODAY visited him in ICU Small was hooked up to machines and unconscious.
Thursday afternoon, a fresh-faced Small stood outside his Westmoreland, St James home with a crutch for support and spoke about his experience, describing his recovery as a “miracle”.
“It got to be a miracle because from how people tell me I was when I went in the hospital it like I was bad. I hear people was saying that I dead too, but it ain’t nothing so,” said an appreciative Small.
Small was a lover of motorcycles, but the accident, in which he also suffered injuries to his pelvis, and the near-death experience, have left him looking at life differently.
One decision already taken, a reflective Small said, was to give up riding.
“I don’t want to ride no motorcycle. That would be too hard for me [with] what I went through and what I going through right now. It ain’t make no sense I go and ride no motorcycle now,” Small said.
The journey back to full health is far from complete as he continues to suffer aches and pains.
However, Small’s biggest frustration comes from the fact that he suffers from amnesia.
In addition to forgetting the names of some of the people closest to him, he said he had no recollection of the accident that nearly took his life.
“I can’t remember what happen with the accident. Certain things I can’t remember at all. Certain people I can’t remember unless I see them face. I was calling one of my sons my brother name all the time. People come to the hospital and look for me and I can’t remember them. I can’t remember nothing at all about this accident.
“It got you feel bad sometimes. That is the truth. When I get home I couldn’t remember the people. I in the hospital and I don’t even know what I was in the hospital for. I was on B5 and I thought I was in the hospital for a break hand or a break foot,” the young man said as he admired the greenery that surrounded him and listened to the barking dog and chirping birds that broke the silence.
Small said he knew he was not always the best patient, but expressed much gratitude to the doctors and nurses who took care of him during his stay at the QEH.
“They tell me I take off things off of my skin and jump off a bed and all kind of things. But the strange thing is that I can’t remember doing nothing so. But because of them I here now.”
Small, who was discharged last Wednesday and is now trying to reconnect with family and members of the neighbourhood, said he was looking forward to a full recovery and to getting his memory back.
“I got to thank God too that he give me another chance to live. I got to say that the Lord didn’t ready for me yet and I thank the Lord everyday that he treat me good to make me live a life again. It just got me feel bad sometimes that I can’t remember things,” Small emphasized.
He said he was thankful that despite the severity of his injuries he did not have to undergo major surgery.
However, an operation on one of his arms remains a distinct possibility.