In Hospital

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Vincent here: As some of you may have heard, Steve suffered a head injury yesterday (Friday) evening. Bill Stolte was also injured. I will post updates as I get them and until Steve is able to return to the keyboard. Please respect the difficult time Steve and Trudi are going through, please feel free to contact me directly. 720-301-3003.

The accident: If you are familiar with Topeka’s regular ride, the accident happened while riding in on 2nd street just before the BP gas station “sprint” finish. The speed was high ~30mph. A dog ran into the road and Steve hit it, went over the bars, Sound like Bill was on his wheel and hit Steve. (Incidentally, we don’t know about the dog. It was taken in by its owners.)

Injuries: Steve was unconscious for at least 10min. Bill got really banged up and broke some ribs and has a collapsed lung. Both Steve and Bill were admitted to the hospital.

Friday night Assessment : Steve had a head CT that showed a crack in the skull, a small subarachnoid bleed with a very small (3mm) shift, and some frontal lobe contusions. He was admitted to the ICU overnight for monitoring. He was having a terrible headache and nausea/ vomiting. Bill has a collapsed lung (haven’t gotten the details on the side or severity.)

6:00am Assessment this morning: repeat head CT showed no change. This is good. He’s in a lot of pain, but this is to be expected.

9:30am Update: Update from Neurologist, Star-burst fracture in the back of his skull, evidence of a huge impact. Frontal lobe bruising is bigger than last night, as expected. More scans to come. Staying in ICU for a couple more days. Still very nauseous, vomiting, head ache. The Neurologist said it could be months of recovery and even some time in a rehab facility. Will know more as time passes.

12:00pm Update: Frontal brain contusion (bruise) is worse. Starburst fracture on occiput (back of head)  with continued but stable subarachnoid bleed.  If swelling worsens he may require a craniotomy (hole in the head) to relieve pressure. This is serious friends, recovery may take time, too long for Steve I am sure.

2:00pm Update: Bill is up eating. Has a chest tube to take care of the lung, 4 broken ribs, should be out Monday.

6:00pm Update: Eating some Jello and a saltine, asking questions. Photo below.

11:30pm Update: Neurology check is good. Neck CT looks good but they have not yet cleared his neck. He has had lots of pain through the day 8/10. They just changed the  pain meds and got the neck collar loosened and he is now sleeping.  Labs look good. He will get another head CT in the morning. He seems much more like himself spirit is back, everyone is feeling much more optimistic while aware recovery will take time.
Bill is also doing much better.

Sunday 8:00am Update: Steves condition seems stable. His neurology exam is good he has no problem following order, understanding questions and answers but he is clearly in a fog. Likely he will be transferred to the floor, out of ICU today. He had a CT scan again this morning, it unofficially looks like the swelling us much better. I have added a few photos below.

Sunday 11:00am: This mornings scan looks good no progression with some regression of the lesion. Transferring out of ICU today. Possibly home on Tuesday. Lots of PT /OT / speech therapy. Things to watch for but unlikely : meningitis and hearing loss in right ear. The doctor is assuming a full recovery in 1 year.  A repeat injury would be really bad.

Sunday evening: Steve was transferred to the spine and neuro floor (out of ICU). He got out of bed and showered, has eaten some broth and apple juice, pain is much better. Recognizing everyone, addressing by name, opening eyes when talking. All good signs.

Sunday sermon from his friends: Passing along advice from the doctor, everyone needs to make sure he never rides a bike without a helmet again. Not even just 1 mile to run tucker . There is a condition called second impact syndrome .  This is super important over the next few years. It can occur from a much lower energy head injury and you die from that! Seth says it well here LINK.

Monday Morning: Bill’s update: Bill is doing great, I mean he has a tube in his chest connected to a machine but otherwise great.

Monday Morning, Steve’s update: I have updated the support section. Steve is looking so much better this morning. Been a huge improvement over last night even in the last several hours. He did great with the occupational therapist actually scored 26/30. At 4:30am Steve decided it was time for a shower. He disabled his bed alarm,  rolled his IV stand into the bathroom and took one, he almost got away with it but for the noise from the water. He will not be going home until he can eat and drink without puking everything up . For the last 3 days, he has not kept anything down. Solid foods are not even an option at this time.

Monday Evening: Bill is home and doing well, or as well as you can with 4 broken ribs. Steve is continuing to improve. He is basically clear to go home once he can keep food down. It is getting to that time in recovery where it almost becomes more difficult for family and friends than the patient. There can be many difficult expected and unexpected issues with this type of injury. Probably looking at a 95% recovery in the next 4-8 weeks with the last 5% taking up to a year. The challenge is that the 5% could manifest in strange ways.

Tuesday Morning: New photo below. Morning CT scan is stable, this is good news. Steve slept well last night. He had 2 bites of pizza last night. He has not puked since yesterday morning, which is really good. His headache is still really bad. He is still very impulsive, this is due to the frontal TBI.
It is likely Steve is going home at the end of the day or tomorrow. It is super important that he gets mental rest. I know many of you would like to email, call, stop by. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS! feel free to continue to leave comments. Frontal TBI causes interesting and unpredictable personality issues.

Tuesday afternoon: Steve is home. See photo of Steve and Tucker below.
It is super important that Steve gets mental rest. I know many of you would like to email, call, stop by. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS! feel free to continue to leave comments. Frontal TBI causes interesting and unpredictable personality issues.

Wednesday Morning: (New Tucker photo below) Steve is continuing to rest and heal. Mostly Steve is just very very very tired and has a terrible headache. It has been hard for him to get comfortable. Feeling new aches from the crash. His lower back is now sore. He has a pretty deep round wound there. He neck is sore but that is not really new. Right ear feels clogged but it is damaged, he has a crack in his skull behind his ear. if it continues we should see an ENT doc. Eating a bit more and no more vomiting. Have the pill rotation going. No Visiting, Calling, Texting, Emailing… please, Leave comments below.

Tuesday: Starting a new post, see here.

No Visiting, Calling, Texting, Emailing… please (updated Oct 18): Steve’s brain needs rest. If you are local or in some other way are thinking about visiting or contacting (calling, emailing) Steve, please do not!  Free to continue to leave comments. It is super important that he gets mental rest. Frontal TBI causes interesting and unpredictable personality issues. I will update when this changes. Expect this to be in effect until Oct 27 even after he returns home.

Recovery: If you are wondering what recovery from this type of injury might entail, this LINK explains it, although to me it says nothing useful while at the same time reading like a side effect warning for head injuries.

Support: Many of you have reached out asking how you can help out. Friendship, prayers, letters, posts in the comments…. All of these things are great. Trudi will be busy taking care of Steve, there will be opportunities to help but we need to let Trudi worry about Steve and their very close friends will help coordinate other help that may be needed. If you have something specific you would like to do, you can contact me, directly or 720-301-3003. Many have also offered financial assistance. At this time this is greatly appreciated and humbling, but not necessary. If there comes a time it is necessary, we ensure everyone has an opportunity to help.

Thanks to the wonderful staff at Stormont-Vail

Point of acknowledgment: My wife is making me say this, I do what she says 😉 Steve was not wearing a helmet. He may be pissed at us for posting this when he’s all better, but seriously, wear your helmets. We don’t know if it will change his decisions in the future, but please let it change yours.  And please don’t focus on this point in the comments. Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve, but we just want Steve and Bill better.


Getting a CT scan

Getting a CT scan


Getting a hair washing


All cleaned up

All cleaned up

Stacie has been a great help and friend the last couple days.

Stacie has been a great help and friend the last couple days.

Tuesday Morning

Tuesday Morning

Home again with Tucker

Home again with Tucker

Loyal Tucker

Loyal Tucker

346 thoughts on “In Hospital

  1. JTP

    Todd’s style might be a bit unusual but he makes some good points. I hate to see anyone get hurt, and hope the best for Steve and Bill.

    It is a statistical fact that Steve greatly increases his risk of traumatic head injury from a cycling crash by choosing not to wear a helmet. My team would support me through my recovery and then suspend me for that. Oh, wait, that already happened. And I’ve worn my helmet every single time since I recovered and got back on the bike.

    All the best to Steve and Bill. I hope you both have a great recovery and no long term effects. Other than the effect of choosing to wear the damned helmet moving forward. That is just a common sense and logical decision after what happened.

    1. Spidey

      Yup. My job is capable of harming or killing me. and it makes sense that we wear safety equipment. To protect our hearing, eyes, ears and heads. I’d have a tough time explaining to my wife and fellow professionals why I chose not to wear that stuff at my job, even though there is no law that mandates it. Tilly is a professional cyclist so I don’t see the difference why he would send that message to others or take that risk, given that he knows better than most what can happen. That said, I hope Tilly and Bill get well soon!

      1. Redzinger

        Helmets statistically help one’s chances in a high speed, traumatic fall and accident from a moving vehicle. However, it must be also noted that 1). They do not prevent concussions, which can have real long-term and lasting effects and even permanent symptoms for some people and 2). They DO NOT spare everyone from even severe traumatic brain injury after a crash. Think no further than Saul Raisin. Or most recently, Stig Broeckx. One just has a statistically better chance of survival, lessening the chance of skull fractures, and other tbi related injuries.

        I firmly believe that Steve will have a good recovery, he’s one tough dude. I bet he’ll also wear a helmet every time he saddles up. Let’s get past the helmet stuff and just keep praying for our friend’s inevitable and ass-kicking return to the bike.

  2. Barb

    Not sure why people keep making comments about wearing a helmet. He didn’t, too late for lectures/shoulda/woulda/coulda now, no reason to rub it in. All I know is he looks to be in serious pain, and my heart goes out to him. And I hope the headaches go away soon. Among other things.

    1. Captain Obvious

      Ignoring the chance to make positive change by pointing out his right to make a poor choice and saying it’s in the past. As if talking about helmets equates to NOT hoping the best for Steve? That dilutes your validity. The stats are the stats. Stop making excuses with diversive mentions of vague science.

      “However, it must also be noted that 1) They do not prevent concussions…”. Really? Not in every case, but the overall stats are clear. Why would you dilute that to make a point that a helmet isn’t a guarantee? Nobody suggested it was. You appear to be saying that because it’s not a guarantee, why would anyone argue to have folks wear one…Seatbelts, anyone?

      Seriously, stop telling people to quit railing about the clear wisdom of wearing a helmet and start participating in sending a leadership message to all of the people reading this instead of whining about speaking out on safety equating to not hoping the best for these guys. What would you tell your kids? I’d say “I hope they recover and learn from the mistake of not wearing a helmet and become advocates to do so in the future”. How is that a negative message? Oh that’s right…why advocate wearing a helmet since it’s not a guarantee against concussions. And medications aren’t guaranteed to work all the time but you’d still take the pills the doc prescribes…smh

      1. barb

        Where do people get this shit? Who said anything about “safety not equating to not hoping the best for these guys” Nothing was said or even written to that effect. Do you feel better now, however, exercising your ego-driven blabber and fabricating crimes to attack people for? You should go into politics, since you seem pretty good at twisting reality and making up bullshit. This blog (especially not NOW) is not about you or a platform for your belief system about helmets. It’s not about all those people who don’t wear helmets. We’re all adults here, most of us don’t need others appointing themselves as our parent figure. ADULTS make choices, and most of us know what we’re doing, without YOUR oversight or supervision. If people aren’t aware of the risks they’re taking, how is ragging about it in a BLOG and attacking other posters, interjecting your own mental disassociations into their comments going to make them aware? Seriously, who gives a flying F about your petty manufactured criticisms, and your obviously ego-driven rant about helmets, when Steve is seriously injured? Does not compute.

  3. Abby Normal

    For fuck sake, would everyone shut the fuck up about the helmet, no helmet, and by god not on my illustrious group ride will one ride without a helmet. It’s a done did deal, and other than the well wishing and encouraging words, everything else stated is tired and anemic, nary a one of you has a single unique thought, idea, or point of view, so get over yourself, and again… shut the fuck up already. Oh, almost forgot, Todd and his buddy Stainmaster are a little douchey, but I can’t totally blame them, as one is the Stainmaster, and the other’s name is Todd, that alone leads to a disposition for douchebaggery. And last but not least, before anyone decides to get all clever with me and this post, let me just say in advance, your mom rides without a helmet… I’ll drop her back home when we’re done.

    1. Todd

      If being called a douche saves someone from dying or having to go through what he is going through…I am good with that. My Mom always wears a helmet and protection! I hope for his full recovery.

  4. Tom Chew

    Hoping for full recovery for Steve and Bill. Danny and I have had our share of crashes even if less than average per mile ridden. You just never know when or how these things are going to happen to the best and most skilled of us.


  5. Brady Koss

    Your writings have become my routine. Every morning I look forward to reading your next post. Your blog has become my morning paper. I have never met you, but certainly would call you a friend. Sending strength and love your way… get well friend!

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  7. T.Lyle Ferderber

    Please take good care and get better. I rely on your insights into my favorite sport, one I hope to rejoin when my replaced hip is ready, and we all need you back.

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  9. Harry

    Support and therapy. My son was in a horrific car accident and suffered a TBI. Today (21 years later) I consider him a miracle. The doctors said family support is one of the important ingredients to recovery. God bless you Steve. If you are up to it I will send a photo to Vincent of a Raleigh Reynolds 531 bicycle made in Japan that I picked up at a bike swap. Could possibly be Steve’s!?

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