I was taking part in a two-day, 150-mile charity ride through the Eastern Shore in June 2011. As a longtime cyclist, this was supposed to be the ride of my life, but just an hour after the start, I was involved in a terrible crash that left me lying unconscious on a gravel driveway. Luckily, a volunteer firefighter and paramedic happened to be in the event and recognized that I had a severe head injury. I was airlifted to the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where the trauma team from EVMS Surgery stabilized me. Another EVMS-affiliated physician then performed an emergency craniotomy. Without that, I’d most likely either have died or been left permanently brain damaged. My lip and chin also were badly injured in the accident, but a team of EVMS residents, guided by an EVMS surgeon, repaired the damage. I’m amazed at the results, and it shows that, despite how badly I was hurt, the residents and doctors always believed that I would pull through. Today, I’m 100-percent recovered. I feel extremely lucky. Honestly, before the crash, I didn’t know anything about EVMS. Now, when I turn on the news and hear about a motorcycle crash or a head injury and hear they were taken to Norfolk, I think, ‘Thank goodness.’ People just don’t know how lucky we are. Am I healthier because EVMS is here? I’m here because they’re here.

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Linda Tjoseem

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