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Henry Ascencio

Bostonian Henry Ascencio came to Houston to learn car collision repair and found a second passion—motorcycles. When he wasn’t working, Henry was riding with a group of fellow enthusiasts. The more he rode, the more risks he took: passing between cars on the white line, speeding, performing stunts. He was part of the Wednesday night riders who like to take over a freeway.

On July 28, 2016, while riding with two friends, he took a wrong exit. He sped up to enter the freeway again and catch up with his friends. A pick-up truck, not anticipating Henry’s speed, moved into his lane. Henry hit it at full speed.

His mother, Blanca, and girlfriend, Diane, arrived at Ben Taub Hospital to learn Henry was in surgery. Frantically trying to repair a brain bleed, surgeons were less concerned with his road rash and lack of movement in his left arm or leg. Doctors could not anticipate his prognosis until he woke.

That was three days later, and Henry wondered where he was. He remembers very little about his 10 days in the hospital. He says, “I was more concerned about the bike than myself. The bike being totaled was the worst news. Second was my really ugly haircut.”

Blanca and Diane remember all of it, and they appreciate the care Ben Taub staff gave all three of them. Diane says, “They treated Henry really good, and they took care of us. I love it there.”

He spent another 10 days in Quentin Mease Hospital. “I recovered so fast, they stopped the speech therapy. My physical therapist, Jorge, was great. When I got tired of being inside, he took me outside.

He made the best of everything. He motivated me.”

The best day ever was when Henry realized, “I’m back to being me. I’m 100 percent.”

Henry doesn’t ride now, but he will again – minus the reckless stuff. “I did dumb things, but I’m not dumb.” Thankfully, his friends also have learned from his mistake. They’re safe riders now too.