Helmet saved my life, says cyclist

Zoe KeenanGeraldton Guardian
Danny Bowen, not long after his release from hospital.
Camera IconDanny Bowen, not long after his release from hospital. Credit: Supplied

Geraldton cyclist Danny Bowen is a walking reminder of the importance of wearing a bike helmet.

The Nagle Catholic College director of students was riding his bike to school along George Road when he dropped a pair of shoes he was holding into the front spokes of his bike, causing him to go over the handlebars.

He suffered multiple injuries, including broken ribs, bruised lungs and a broken back, but was lucky to be left with a gash on his head and a crack in the helmet he believes saved his life.

“I am lucky I was wearing my helmet when I fell off my bike,” he said.

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“The surgeons at Royal Perth Hospital said the helmet had protected my head from serious injury.

“I had a gash across my forehead with 14 stitches and if I had no helmet I don’t think I would’ve survived.

“It could’ve been far worse.”

After the accident, the Royal Flying Doctor Service flew Mr Bowen to Perth, where he spent several weeks undergoing surgery and recovering in the spinal trauma unit. Doctors told him that his helmet might have helped save his life.

“I still have some other injuries that will take time to heal, but other people may never recover from serious head trauma if they don’t wear a helmet,” Mr Bowen said.

Mr Bowen had to wear a body and neck brace for four months and is now walking and swimming as part of his rehabilitation.

As lucky as he is, others may not be as lucky, and he wants to spread the message of how important it is to wear a bicycle helmet.

“You are risking your fate and your future if you’re not wearing a helmet because you never know when it’s going to happen,” he said.

“I didn’t see it coming so it’s just one of those things where you think everything’s going well and you’re riding safely and then bang, something happens.

“I’ll be making sure I wear a helmet in the future.”

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