When I was in college, the PlayStation video game console had taken the world by storm, and “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” was one of the most sought-after titles. The game put you in the shoes of a pro skateboarder and let you loose to do all sorts of tricks.
We played it a lot in my dorm, and one of the things we noticed was how the titular Tony Hawk had pads on in the game. When we started looking into his real-life career, we saw that he wore pads all the time.
Hawk may have broken some records in the world of pro skateboarding, but we were surprised at how uncool he looked with those pads on. Then we started watching videos of what happened when those fancy tricks went bad — and we understood why he wore them.
Eleven-year-old Amey Hogan of Shropshire, England, certainly doesn’t have Hawk’s fame. Yet she also thinks everyone should at least wear a helmet when out on wheels.
She has good reason to say so. On June 26, she was riding her bike to school when a van struck her.
The head-on collision threw her from her bike. It also broke her skull in two places and smashed her cheekbones.
But perhaps the worst damage occurred to her vision. The young girl is now permanently blind in her right eye.
There’s one very significant bit of brightness in the whole ordeal: Amey was wearing a helmet, and that’s why she’s still alive.
After multiple surgeries and a lengthy convalescence, Amey decided to do more than rest and recuperate. She got out her smartphone and made a video urging cyclists to wear their helmets.
“I am so lucky that it wasn’t any worse,” she says in the video. “I have had so much support.
“The bike helmet saved my life. … It saved my life, (and) it could save yours too.”
Warning: Some of the images in this video may be graphic to some readers. Viewer discretion advised.
Research shows that she’s right. The Concord Monitor stated that anywhere from 45 to 88 percent of brain injuries caused by biking accidents can be avoided by wearing a properly fitted helmet.
A Norwegian study seconded that opinion. It concluded that helmets reduce the possibility of serious head injury by around 60 percent.
Other than being still in the land of the living, another amazing thing about Amey’s tale is that her parents didn’t know she was making the video. Her mother, Vikki Hogan, only found out after it had racked up 50,000 views.
“She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Hogan told the Sun. “She was very lucky nothing worse happened.
“The helmet absolutely saved her life, and that is the reason she made the video. She says she doesn’t want other people to go through what she has.”
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