Steve Leonard loved his motorcycle. And he was careful. “I’m not crazy. I wore full gear,” he says. And it’s a good thing. He thinks it was his helmet that saved his life.
On March 5, 2013, at 6 a.m., he was riding to work when a car pulled in front of him, and he only had half a second to react. “I had nowhere to go,” he says. “I remember hitting the car. Then, I could hear people talking while I did a systems check, moving body parts until someone told me not to move anymore.
“Travis, the paramedic, kept asking me to repeat his name to make sure I was coherent.”
Travis took Steve to Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, where his wife and two adult sons were waiting for him. He had a shattered wrist, fractured ribs, a dislocated hip and a concussion.
“I’m not much for hospitals,” he says, “but the staff was great. Everyone was personable and kept eye contact. When I panicked and had trouble breathing, a nurse kept rubbing my hand to make me feel secure. They were great to me and to my family.”
The wrist was his worst injury. Every tendon and bone required repair. He wore a cast for three weeks before returning to LBJ for surgery. It’s healed now, but weaker than before and very attuned to weather changes.
“I’ve been in several local hospitals, and the people at LBJ care as much as any I’ve ever seen. Medical people are a different breed, like me. Working shifts makes us different, and medical people put up with a lot. I tip my hat to them.”
“I was back at LBJ for rehab after the cast came off and ran into one of the ER nurses. She said, ‘I know you won’t remember me.’ I said, ‘Yes, I do. I’ll never forget your voice.’
“The rehab – now that was fun. Sheer torture. The therapists loved every minute of it.
“From the paramedic to the occupational therapist, everyone who took care of me had a great attitude. If I could, I’d offer them something. All I can do is say, ‘Thank you. Job well done.’”