Senator Roy Herron says he has a lot to be thankful for, even and especially after a bike wreck last Sunday.
Senator Herron was training with a fellow Ironman triathlete for another Ironman scheduled for August. They were in Obion County biking and with the help of a strong wind they were moving rapidly. They topped a rise and suddenly were in a 90-degree turn with loose gravel on the pavement.
“Geometry class should have taught me that there is a big difference between 90 degrees and 80 degrees, which is about all the turn I made before I went off the road,” Senator Herron laughed.
By the time he regained consciousness, two Good Samaritan college students had stopped. Together with his fellow cyclist, they carried him to the Union City Hospital. A scan revealed a broken clavicle (collarbone), eight or nine broken ribs, and a slightly collapsed lung.
Senator Herron then was life-flighted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center Sunday night. His wife, Nancy, said he immediately began advocating in the emergency room for his release so that he could attend the legislative session the next afternoon, which he did. Since 1987, the only day of legislative session Senator Herron has missed was for the birth of his youngest son.
Senator Herron said he is "mighty grateful for the excellent healthcare I received" and also for his bike helmet. "Thanks to that helmet, there’s not anything wrong with my head after the wreck that was not already wrong with it before,” Senator Herron laughed.
He said, "I am awfully grateful to be doing so well." He noted that many people feel more pain every day than he has any day since the wreck. And he recalls that his father suffered more pain every day since he was wounded during World War II until he died in 1977.
Senator Herron said some of his friends have offered helpful suggestions like recommending that he take up miniature golf. But while he probably will miss the Ironman triathlon he hoped to do in August, he said he will be looking for another event as soon as he is able.
Senator Herron is back in the district visiting with the physician who started him doing Ironman triathlons. “Since he got me started down this road, the least he can do is help heal me,” he said.
Senator Herron has completed over 30 marathons and three 140-mile Ironman triathlons.