That life is a while, they say, and they are not wrong. A year ago, egan bernal He enjoyed training, aimed at achieving the goals of a 2022 that painted for him in the best way. he came from winning the Italy spin and it was not known if he was going to defend the title or would jump again Tour de France, the test that saw him as the king in 2019.
Bernal was in Colombia, concentrating outside of Bogota with some teammates from the Ineos team, with whom they shared the hard training days in the savannah and without thinking that this season he had a feeling would be better than the previous one, it was going to be one of the least favorable years for him, since his life was in danger.
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The day after tomorrow will be one year since the brutal accident that changed his life. Egan did a training session on the track Bogota-Tunja. The group of cyclists took turns doing repetitions on the bike against the clock.
Ríchard Carapaz, Daniel Martínez, Omar Fraile, Brandon Rivera, Andrey Amador and Carlos Rodríguez they got up early and under the strong cold began to pedal.
As the clock read 10:01 a.m., Bernal crashed into a bus that was on the side of the road, leaving a passenger behind.
The accident occurred at kilometer 33 and 800 meters of highway. Bernal’s body collided with the rear of the car.
Bernal stayed on the floor. His companions quickly helped him, but he complained of pain. They called the group’s doctor who was five minutes from the place. He saw it, analyzed it and called for an emergency ambulance.
They picked him up and took him to the Sabana University Clinic, near Chía, where he went straight into the operating room. At first the information was reassuring, but it was not true.
Minutes passed and the news was terrifying. The Tour champion was between life and death. In just 12 hours, Bernal underwent three surgeries, as the serious injuries required it.
She had mild head trauma, non-displaced cervical spine fracture, lung perforation with presence of air and bleeding in the thoracic cavity, fracture of the t5 and t6 thoracic vertebra, and fracture of the femur and right patella, an opinion that corroborated that her life was in danger.
The most difficult thing was the issue of the spine, so the Clínica’s neurosurgery group performed a reduction of a fracture dislocation from level T5 to T6 and instrumentation was modified from T3 to T8, keeping the neurological apparatus intact and conserving the functionality of the segments involved.
“I almost killed myself, but you know what? I am grateful to God for giving me this test. It is being the toughest race, but I have had an excellent group of people around me, ”he wrote from the clinic.
If true. People who were by his side say that he screamed at the Intensive Care Unit where they stayed for the first few days, because the pain was unbearable.
Later, the information was much better. Bernal woke up, joked, took photos, and 14 days after being admitted, he left the clinic and went to his house to recover.
Today, almost a year later, yes, life is a little while, and Egan knows it. He came out of the tunnel, got back on the bike, competed and is ready to face a season in which everything is expected.
“Another person would still be trying to learn to walk. It’s that she had 20 fractures, most of them very complex.»
His recovery has been classified as miraculous and that today he is about to kick off his eighth season in road cycling is the best news for him, his family, Colombia and cycling in the world.
“Another person would still be trying to learn to walk. It is that she had 20 fractures, most of them very complex. Athletes are different, genetically they are different from other human beings.
The training, the system, the adapted tissues regenerate more easily than the common ones”, he told TIME sports doctor, Mauricio Serrato.
He returned to compete sooner than expected. Egan Bernal returned in the return to denmarksix months and 21 days after the accident and 11 months after his last competition, the Tour of Spain in 2021.
“It is a very good recovery, but it is not miraculous. Two influential factors: first, he was operated on time and with a very good technique. What needed to be done at that moment was done, it was key not to take time to decide on the procedure,» he concluded. Enrique Osorio, one of the most important neurosurgeons in Colombia.
For Osorio, the second important point for the Ineos team rider to have won the battle to death was the mental part.
«His personality, his positive attitude towards his rehabilitation is the second key point I touch on,» he declared.
Now, his fitness is being worked on, and he is doing well at that. “Muscle must generate force for it to improve its performance. It is going very well and in this first semester it can recover the optimal and adequate performance for the competition, revised Gustavo Castro, one of the doctors who has been by his side in this process.
“Recovery from bone and ligament injuries has gone well. Your tissues are already in a proper repair process. What is being worked on is that they are functional,” added Castro.
And one of those who had the responsibility of saving his life was Gustavo Uriza, the neurosurgeon who received Egan and who operated on him.
«The normal thing is that he would have died or that 95 percent would not walk again.»
“These are miracles that were set up because everything happened for the patient to get ahead. That he had the case on, that the team doctor picked him up early, that they brought him to the nearest care center, that the team that intervened was all at the clinic, those were the miracles,» Uriza told EL TIEMPO.
When Uriza saw the diagnostic images, he knew that the situation was difficult. “It is that the Bernal thing was much more serious than could be imagined. The normal thing is that he would have died or that 95 percent would not walk again, ”he specified.
The recovery of the human being came and the restart of the new life of the professional cyclist, the one who wants to be the champion of before.
“The first thing I did was talk to the family, I told them clearly what could happen. Later I called my wife, I told her the case, who she was, and I asked her to light a candle so that everything would go well,” she recounted.
Uriza says that he is such a believer, but not so practicing, but Egan’s case transports him and makes him think that there are people who come into the world blessed.
“I have had many difficult cases, like Egan’s, but this time things happened. It may be that one is the best professional, that the clinic is the right one, but I have had patients who with similar cases and no matter how much effort is made, do not get ahead. It was a combination of too many happy coincidences to get out of this problem, and that’s why I think God exists,» he said.
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Editor of EL TIEMPO