Bike crash survivor: “‘No pain, no gain’ has a whole new meaning”

Three weeks ago, we mentioned that the woman who survived a puzzling bicycle accident on Delridge was publicly chronicling her recovery and getting ready for a fundraising concert to help with her ongoing medical expenses. You may recall from our original August coverage that she was found in the street, and nobody could figure out whether she’d been hit by someone or just taken a bad spill. Against the odds, she has recovered, and is now home after being in the hospital and rehab for almost three months. The fundraising concert starring singer violinist Angela Fuller is 7 pm tomorrow (Tuesday) at Mars Hill Church in West Seattle. The bicyclist, 27-year-old Angela Sweet, agreed to answer a few questions from us via e-mail – our questions and her answers, verbatim, ahead:

WSB: How are you doing now?

ANGELA: I think that I am doing better than would be expected. My left arm and leg still need a lot of work but the rest of me is doing much better. I am frustrated by my circumstances and how much work it is to try to get better. No pain/no gain has a whole new meaning for me.

WSB: Have you remembered anything about what happened? If not, have police pieced anything together?

ANGELA: The investigation is ongoing, therefore I cannot comment.

WSB: What was it like to come home after being away for so long?

ANGELA: Coming home for the first time was a total trip. The very first time I came home I was on a pass from the nursing home. I couldn’t even make it up the 2 flights of stairs to get to my front door. I sat in my wheelchair downstairs and my husband [with Angela @ left in family-provided photo] brought down one of the kitties to visit me. The next time I came home was several weeks later while I was on pass from inpatient rehab at Harborview. I was able to make it up the stairs but I had to rest half-way through. My husband had to move our bedroom out of the loft to where our office was downstairs. The ladder to the loft is still not very safe for me to attempt on my own. The nicest parts about being home are getting to see my kitties, snuggle with my husband, and the food is exponentially better than hospital food. I also had to re-learn where much of the stuff in our house is kept.

WSB: Assuming you haven’t already, will you ride a bicycle again someday?

ANGELA: If I ever ride a bike again it will definitely be on a defined bike trail. I will never ride in the street again. Even with all of the precautions I took (helmet, gloves, safety glasses, reflective vest, lights) I still got hurt this bad.

WSB: I hear you’re going to speak at the concert – what are you going to talk about?

ANGELA: I am going to talk about the things that I have struggled with relative to my recovery, my injuries, my family, God, and give thanks to the people that made my benefit possible.

WSB: Anything else you want people to know about how you’re doing, what you are going to be doing as you continue to recover, what’s happening at the concert?

ANGELA: I’m working on learning to walk again and learning how to use my left arm. If you run into me in public please just be patient, it takes me a lot longer than it used to to do most everything. Just trying to get back to my life prior to the accident. The concert should be great. Angela Fuller is extremely talented and will definitely put on a wonderful show.

The benefit concert is at 7 pm Tuesday (12/22) at Mars Hill Church-West Seattle, tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door, available online here.

6 Replies to "Bike crash survivor: "'No pain, no gain' has a whole new meaning""

  • Nulu December 21, 2009 (7:44 am)

    Godpseed to your full recovery.
    But, three months later and we are still “puzzled”.
    Was she hit by someone or just taken a bad spill?
    “The investigation is ongoing, therefore I cannot comment.”
    Why such secrecy?
    What investigation and who? SPD? SDOT? Insurance? Civil litigation?
    Is a large sum of money involved?
    If a large settlement is reached, what becomes of the Mars Hill fundraising moneys?
    I think when people utilize the WSB in such a manner, some degree of being forthright is deserved.

  • I. Ponder December 21, 2009 (9:23 am)

    “I had 22 fractures or broken bones…”

    I don’t know the circumstances of how she was found, but given the extent of her injuries it is likely she was struck by a car/truck as opposed to running into a curb or somesuch.

    I have no idea what the police report says but articles keep repeating that perhaps “she had just taken a bad spill”. I think that option is ridiculous. People do sometimes fall or self-crash while riding, but I’ve never heard of anything like this happening. Numerous massive injuries. People fall getting into the bathtub and
    end up paralyzed, but not 23 broken bones and coma.

    I’m wondering what damage there was to the bike. There may be evidence of being struck by a vehicle.

    As such, I believe this was likely a hit & run.

  • Puzzled Nulu December 21, 2009 (7:39 pm)

    Different styles with different “facts”:

    “The extent of the injuries would suggest Sweet was struck by someone or something, but a police investigation was inconclusive.” Seattle Times

    “The case is under investigation by the traffic-collision squad.” P.I.

    What about the bike? If the bike was mangled, the police investigation would not be inconclusive.

  • Marley December 21, 2009 (8:20 pm)

    Go Angela! Can’t wait to see you tomorrow night!

  • Mars Hillbilly December 22, 2009 (8:34 pm)

    Nulu – Our pastors assured us that every penny is going toward her medical bills and future costs of her continued care, settlement or no settlement.

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