Cyclist with baby on the way now paraplegic after freak accident

Brianne Tolj
·3-min read

A dad has fallen into a coma after breaking his neck and back during a freak bicycle accident just weeks after finding out his wife is carrying their second child.

Todd Wahl, from the US state of Utah, had recently fallen in love with cycling and was riding his bike after work on October 9, as he often does, when he “took a bad turn and slid off an embankment”, family friend Alex Frischknecht told KSLTV.

Luckily, he was spotted by a passer-by and airlifted to hospital, where they discovered the soon-to-be dad of two had broken his back below his diaphragm, making him a paraplegic, Ms Frischknecht wrote on a GoFundMe created to cover his medical bills.

Todd Wahl is seen with his wife, Jessica, and their three-year-old son. Source: GoFundMe
Todd Wahl was riding his bicycle in Utah on October 9 when he suffered a freak accident. Source: GoFundMe

Doctors also found the construction company project manager had broken his neck, sternum and ribs on both sides.

“As you can imagine, the family is absolutely devastated, afraid, and overwhelmed,” Ms Frischknecht said.

“This news comes just weeks after finding out they are expecting their 2nd baby, due in May 2021.

“Anyone who knows Todd knows he is the funniest, easy-going, honest guy who prides himself on providing and caring for his wife, Jessica, and 3-year-old son Nolan.”

Todd suffers sudden heart attack

On October 14, Todd was moved from the ICU to a regular room but suffered a heart attack four hours later due to aspiration, his wife, Jessia Wahl, announced last weekend.

“They did 17 minutes of CPR and brought him back and he is in a coma. The future remains very uncertain,” she wrote on the website.

By Monday, Jessica said her husband continued to show “minimal signs of brain activity” but “still has a few basic reflexes such as his pupillary and corneal reflexes”.

Left, Todd is pictured on his bicycle next to his wife on her bicycle. They are both wearing helmets and sunglasses. Right is an image of Todd in a coma in hospital. Source: KSLTV
Todd, a construction company project manager, broke his back, neck, sternum and ribs on both sides. Source: KSLTV

“[Doctors] confirmed he does not have any kind of brain swelling, herniation, bleeding, or other lesions in his brain, which leads them to believe he is continuing to seize due to the significant brain damage from being without oxygen for those critical 17 minutes,” the website reads.

Todd remains in the surgical ICU, where doctors are continuing to monitor him as they slowly try to wake him from his coma.

Jessica thanked friends, family and even strangers from across the world who have helped raise more than US$150,000 to help pay for the ever-growing medical bills.

Todd is seen riding his bike next to his young son, who is also on his own bike. Source: GoFundMe
Todd remains in the surgical ICU, where doctors are continuing to monitor him as they slowly try to wake him from his coma. Source: GoFundMe

She said the kindness had brought her light during her family’s “darkest hour”.

“All of the donations and shares have contributed to these things, giving me hope that we can someday live a happy, fulfilled, and newly normalised life,” she said.

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