‘I almost lost you’: Student recovers from train accidentWritten by Matthew Quinn | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Bowling Green State University student Larry Kinkaid thought he had a good plan as he trudged through the snow listening to his music.
“I was trying to walk in the footprints other people had already made, the next thing I knew I was standing right in the middle of the tracks.”
That’s when Kinkaid looked up and saw a train bearing down on him from only 5 feet away. He jumped out of the way, but was struck in the right arm and right leg. At first he thought everything was fine and he was going to be able to walk away. Then he took a closer look at his right leg.
“I saw my leg and that’s when I knew everything was wrong; I blacked out for around 30 seconds to a minute,” Kinkaid said. “Then I woke up and started screaming for help.”
However, Kinkaid couldn’t even hear himself yelling. The ringing in his ears was too loud for him to hear his own voice. Kinkaid managed to locate his cellphone and call the police. Finally his hearing came back and he heard the question coming through his cellphone, “Sir, who got hit by a train?”
Up until that fateful day on Feb 5, Kinkaid had never broken a bone in his body.
Kinkaid was taken by medical helicopter to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, near his hometown of Sylvania. It was discovered there that Kinkaid had fractured his tibia, fibula, ulna and radius in addition to sustaining a concussion.
“I did a good job of keeping it together, not to boast or anything but I wasn’t crying or anything, not until I saw my mom come in, then I just started bawling,” Kinkaid said.
His mother, Diane, sat at his side at his hospital bed. “My baby, I almost lost you,” she said.
Kinkaid said his main priority was to not think about what was happening to him. To pass the time, he asked members of the medical staff who they thought was going to win the upcoming Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Many of his fraternity brothers rushed to his side to show their support.
One of the nurses said to Kinkaid “Wow, you sure are popular.” Kinkaid then said, “I’m in a fraternity; I paid for all of these friends.”
His fraternity brother, Greg Maat, posted a funny message on his Facebook: “Larry quit milking this I got hit by a train thing!”
Optimism for Kinkaid went beyond the nurses in that hospital room; Kinkaid’s doctors had comforting words for him as well.
“The doctor said I could be walking completely normal within the next six months,” he said.
Kinkaid was forced to take the semester off from school in order for his injuries to heal. He is unable to participate in any athletic activity, prohibiting him from playing recreational sports he enjoys like volleyball and swimming. Kinkaid has been able to come back to Bowling Green to see all of his friends, but it wasn’t an easy process.
“My grandparents did everything for me; I was hurt I couldn’t do anything,” he said. “You really take for granted the simplest things in life, such as going to the bathroom or being able to feed yourself, and my grandparents were there for me every step of the way.”
Another trying part of the process was the public reaction.
“I didn’t let it bother me what people were saying. I got hit by a train, I feel like an idiot for that,” Kinkaid said.
He will return to Bowling Green in the fall to continue his bachelor’s degree.
“Whenever I hear the train come by I definitely am aware of them now, but I don’t cry and go into a fetal position every time I hear them.”
Kinkaid has crossed those tracks on East Reed Street since the accident.
“I definitely look both ways when I cross them now,” Kinkaid said.
One other question has seemed to be on Kinkaid’s friends’ mind as well. “What were you listening to?”
He thinks he was listening to Ke$ha, but all of that seems irrelevant now.
“I just feel lucky to be alive.”