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patient story

Ethan Connors

“that helmet saved his life”

When Elizabeth Connors got the call that her son had fallen off his bike, she assumed that he had some bumps and bruises but would be fine. But when she entered the ER doors and could hear doctors and nurses yelling her sons name, trying to wake him up, she knew it was serious.

5 years ago, Ethan and his dad went for a bike ride together through the park. Ethan was doing one lap by himself when he somehow fell off his bike. By the time his dad got to him, he was completely unconscious. An ambulance arrived soon after and took Ethan to Dayton Children’s level 1 trauma center.

Ethan remained unconscious for two days. During this time, scans and tests showed that he had a skull fracture, concussion, and a bleed outside the brain. The doctors said that the best thing for Ethan at that moment was rest. After waking up, he remained in the pediatric intensive care unit for a few days to recover.

Everyone was shocked that Ethan did not have more injuries from his accident. Doctors were clear with his parents, “Wearing that helmet saved his life.”

Ethan’s doctors placed restrictions on his activities for a few months. You would normally guess that a kid in this situation would be hesitant to get back on their bike- but not Ethan! He was eager to ride again. Once cleared by his doctor, he got back in the seat, strapped on his helmet, and rode his bike all around the neighborhood.

Doctors first said he may suffer from severe headaches and memory loss for the rest of his life.  Ethan says he only has a typical headache now and again. He is able to be the fun-loving 11-year old boy who loves to cook and play soccer.

His mom shares, “My heart drops when I see a kid in the neighborhood riding without a helmet.”

Since his accident, many of Ethan’s friends have started wearing helmets as they ride bikes, but this isn’t normally the case as kids grow up. As our kids get older, they start to complain about wearing helmets. It’s not seen as the coolest fashion accessory. Parents may decide to let their child go so its not such a hassle. To all parents, Elizabeth says, “It’s worth the fight.”