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Check Your Health: Helmet saves motorcycle rider's life

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Check Your Health: Helmet saves motorcycle rider's life (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay safe on a motorcycle is to always wear a helmet. For one Utah man, taking this simple step is what saved his life.

“We were on our way from Salt Lake City to Coeur D’Alene,” said Greg Nordfelt.

He and his wife were on a motorcycle trip in Idaho, when after eating some bad food he felt sick. His last memory was getting a 7-Up for his stomach, sending a text to his kids, and getting back on his bike. Along the way, Nordfelt’s wife says he started slowing down.

“And then she saw my head slump to the right as I was pulling over, saw me pass out, and then I crashed into a bed of lava rocks,” said Nordfelt.

He broke many bones along the right side of his body, but the most severe injury was his head.

“I am very, very lucky I was wearing a helmet,” Nordfelt said.

“The use of helmets in these situations saves lives,” said Brad Morris, PA-C at the Intermountain Medical Center Trauma Program.

Just last year, Utah had 42 motorcycle deaths. Out of all of the crashes in the state, motorcycles account for one percent of the crashes, but 18 percent of the deaths. This is why road safety needs to be a priority for not only motorcycles, but all drivers.

“The majority of motorcycle accidents are a result of somebody else’s fault,” Morris said.

Nordfelt hopes by sharing his story of survival, he reminds all motorcycle riders to ALWAYS wear a helmet.

“My next memory was 11 days later, waking up from this coma,” Nordfelt said.

Diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury, he didn’t know where he was, who he was, or what happened. Month of rehab focused on basic skills he learned in childhood.

“Relearned how to talk to you, how to read, write, and walk again. I wouldn’t be here without the helmet that I was wearing and it saved me,”

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