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Bike and Small Wheeled Recreation Safety

Kelly's story

​I spoke with my son, Nikolas, at 4:15 p.m. He was riding his bike to work and decided to stop at the skateboard park to quickly "clear the tabletop." 

At exactly 5:00 p.m., I received a call that my son was being put into an ambulance and would be taken to Stollery Children's Hospital. It amazes me how 45 minutes can change your life forever. His back tire had caught the edge of the base, which sent the back of his bike forward. Nikolas was thrown 5 feet, headfirst into the cement below.

Before I could get to the ambulance, a paramedic stopped to prepare me for what I was going to see. There is nothing that can prepare a parent for what I saw.

My son was strapped to a board with his neck held with foam blocks. He had lost consciousness and there was blood coming from his nose. He had a cut over his eye that was bleeding down his face.

When he saw me, he held out his hand and with tears rolling down his face, asked me if he was going to die. I have never felt so helpless in my life. Seeing the fear in his eyes and not being able to do anything terrified me.

We were lucky. No fractures, breaks, or bleeding in the brain. We were so relieved. My son was battered and bruised, with a moderate concussion, b​ut he was breathing. He was alert. He was going to live.

I still get chills when I think what could have happened if he hadn't been wearing his helmet. I am so glad that I didn't give my children a choice when it came to their helmets. No helmet, no bike. At times I was not very popular, but my inflexibility saved my son's life.

About this story

Kelly Ganter's son Nikolas is a living example of the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. Alberta Health Services would like to thank the Ganter family for sharing their story in the hope of preventing others from experiencing this pain.

​​Always wear protective gear, including a helmet, when biking.

Current as of: May 14, 2024

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention, Alberta Health Services