On August 2,1989 I was driving home from visiting my brother. As I was crossing the Weston Canal Causeway in Manville, NJ I noticed a dump truck approaching me. The truck was fishtailing back and forth as the driver swung the steering wheel left and right. He was towing a large six wheeled trailer filled with commercial lawn mowers and leaf blowers. The trailer struck the bridge abutment, was lofted over the truck and crashed on the top of my car.
The roof was lower than the steering wheel. I was knocked unconscious by the violence of the crash. The first thing I remember was a man standing by the side of my car saying I am the captain of a rescue squad and I think you are badly hurt, don’t try to move. Followed immediately by another man who said I think your car is on fire, you better get out fast. I slid to the right side of the car managed to open the passenger-side door part way and squirmed out of the car.
The rescue squad arrived, strapped me to a body board and took me to the emergency room. The doctor diagnosed a broken neck and verified his diagnosis with x-rays. The doctor immobilized my head and neck with a device for this purpose and emergency surgery was scheduled for the next day.
I was told it would be a two to three hour operation. In the event I was on the table for ten hours. The doctor had screwed a metal plate on the front of my cervical spine along with bone grafts to fuse and immobilize my spine.
The immobilization caused a great deal of pain and loss of motion in turning my head. This loss of motion is of course permanent and began to cause stress to other parts of my spine. After a course of physical therapy I was allowed to return to work.
I was not a stranger to chiropractic; I had seen two or three doctors previous to the accident. But it was at this time that I had the great good fortune to meet and be treated by Dr. Patrick Smith. Dr. Smith is an extraordinary diagnostician and superb practitioner of his science and art. As pain and stiffness worsened Pat developed a course of treatment that was, and is, most effective in keeping me mobile, flexible and almost, but not entirely, pain free.
After such a serious accident I say that I have just enough pain to remind me to thank God that I can feel anything. And also grateful to God for putting me in Dr. Smith’s more than capable hands.