Friday, November 18, 2011

The Ernie Saiz Interview : Skateboarding / Severe Head Trauma

Second Week in medically induced coma.

After first surgery Scar. I had to wear a helmet all the time to protect my skull. My skull was stored at the hospital so that they could put it back on once the swelling on my brain went down.

This was my Miss-Shaped head with out half of my skull.

After my second surgery when they put my skull back on my head. There is a drain tube next to my right armpit.

2nd surgery staples 1st day out of the hospital.

Ernie Saiz Interview
By: Dan McCashin / S-One Helmet Co.

The Ernie Saiz Interview // October 2011
1) How old are you? 
My name is Ernie and I'm 33 yrs old
2) Where do you work and what is your position in the Company?
I work for Hanger 94 as a retail manager and assist with shoe buying and some hard goods
3) How many years have you been skating?
I've been skating for 26 years
4) When did your accident happen?
My accident happened on august 1st 2011
5) Can you explain exactly what happened?
Suffering from a slight prior concussion I decided to race a friend down my hill. There was 4 of us hombres all together 3 at the top of the hill and one at the bottom. I hit the hill going about 20 mph and at the bottom was going close to 50mph when I clipped my friend at the bottom, I went straight to my head, hip and tail bone.  
6) What injuries did you sustain?
I fractured my skull, hip and tailbone. I was rushed immediately to Mercy Hospital where I passed away twice. The neurology surgeon was called in to excavate 50% of my skull due to overwhelming bleeding of the brain and swelling. After surgery I was sent into a 3 week coma... Bottom line is that my case is of some miracle work. I shouldn't even be alive, or seriously handicap. In the hospital rehab I saw all
kinds of people that were suffering from the same type of accident that will never be the same, or have been in rehab for 5 plus years. Protecting your head is no joke and I'm extremely lucky. I feel like my chosen path now is to educate safety awareness.
7) Were you wearing a helmet?
I was not wearing a helmet but if I was it would have 
been S-One.
8) Prior to your accident what was your stance on wearing helmets?
Prior to the accident I never wore helmets unless I absolutely had too. I thought I was too cool for one, boy I really found out the hard way. So now going post accident I really try to strive for helmet safety for young kids and teenagers. I love skateboarding and now its been taken away from me (for awhile) because I wasn't thinking correctly.
9) What are you thoughts about wearing a helmet now?
I'm all for wearing helmets and teaching safety, because I got very lucky that I didn't end up in a wheel chair or having any other handy cap.
10) How is your physical and mental state now and what are your prospects for the future? I.E. will you make a full recovery or forever be changed.
My physical and mental state are still recovering, and I'm just
still grasping on to the fact I'm a lucky individual...its
overwhelming! My prospects for the future is to keep my passion for skateboarding, and hopefully soon get back on my board for a switch front side bluntside a trick I re-learned days before this incident. I know a full recovery is just days around the corner, and you bet my life has been changed forever.
11) How has your life changed since the accident?
My life has changed from the accident in so many ways. Before my second surgery I was wearing a helmet at work and had to deal with peoples hollow remarks, which gave me the perfect opportunity to display that I'm not wearing the helmet to be funny. I was able to teach a parent along with their child about helmet safety, and they would both understand how important it is. I feel reborn and as though I have a second chance to affect the lives of others in a positive way.
12) What has all that has happened to you taught you?
This incident has taught me that life can change in a second!  So take nothing for granted. Its also taught me to love and embrace every moment on life because whether you skate,bike,bmx,snowboard or motorcross you should practice safety because it can be taken from you in a flash.