Local teen breaks neck in cycling accident

“Wear a helmet.” That’s the advice of a Ucluelet teen who broke his neck and lived to tell about it.

Robert Ellis, an incoming 11th grader at Ucluelet Secondary School, was riding his mountain bike on the BMX track on July 26 when he hit a jump and landed nose-first on the track.

“I hit my head on the ground – things somewhat went black, then started coming back really fuzzy. I didn’t think anything of it, started to sit up, and I was dizzy.

“I went to lay back again, but I couldn’t move my neck and I couldn’t lay all the way down,” Ellis recalled. “At that point, I knew I’d broken something.”

Fortunately for Ellis, he was wearing a full-face helmet. It sustained a crack on the side he landed on, and the visor broke.

His friend Levi went to the road and grabbed a passing tourist who stopped to help.

They took him home, and he sat down at the front door, where he told his worried mother that his neck was hurting.

An x-ray in Tofino left the doctor worried about what he couldn’t ee, and Ellis was sent to Nanaimo for a CT scan.

“They told me my neck was broken,” he said.

A broken C-2 vertebrae sent him to Victoria, where he spent a week and was fitted for a halo cast. The family was told he came within a hair’s breadth of being paralyzed – or worse – had the break pinched his spinal cord.

How’s he feeling? Lucky.

“I should technically be dead or in a wheelchair,” he said.

His mother, Bernie Hebert, wants to get the word out about the importance of helmets for cycling safety.

“We have hopes of seeing about starting a helmet initiative to try to make sure kids have helmets and learn how to wear them properly,” she said.

Ellis thanks his family, friends and medical personnel for their help and support.

His advice to cyclists is simple. “Wear a helmet.”

Suzanne Ryles set up a CIBC fundraising account for Ellis’ family to help with transport for medical followups with his neurosurgeon.

editor@westerlynews.ca

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Ahousaht Fire Department always at the ready

“Under stressful situations we come out at our best.”

Tofino honours volunteer firefighters with award

To have the community support you, say ‘Thank you,’ and recognize you, just really means an awful lot

UPDATE: Sea lion rescued in Ucluelet suffering from gunshot to the head

“It does look like there’s some pretty serious metal density in his skull.”

Video: An up-close look at beluga whales in Hudson Bay

An up-close look as some belugas greet whale watchers off the coast of Churchill, Manitoba

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Most Read