Ray Gordon was a passenger in rear of this Toyota Sequoia Limited with a professional driver carrying three key members of a World Bank related mission in Nigeria. Ray is the Urban Designer for the mission.
During mission trips, there are always several stops in different cities in Nigeria. Usually the transport is by air, but sometimes needs to go on the road. This team was traveling from Kano to Kaduna when the right rear tire on their Toyota Sequoia vehicle collapsed. Ray was sitting above that tire.The professional driver did everything possible to bring the car under control. But with the collapsed tire, other things on the car then failed and the car flipped 5 times in two different directions.
Ray was sitting above the wheel that collapsed and took the worst brunt when the car came to rest on its side, before bouncing upright.
Fortunately one of the best hospitals in West Africa was just 10 – 15 kilometers via dirt road away from the scene of the accident in Zaria. This is the ONLY hospital in the region. It is Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital. The police arrived within minutes and after arrangements were made, provided transport to the hospital. The team was able to contact the local World Bank office with one of their cell phones recovered from the crash site so that they could be picked up from this remote hospital.
The accident happened at 3PM today. They were at the hospital from 4PM to 9PM, then were transported to their hotel in Kaduna and Ray was able to settle into his room by midnight. That is when he called me through iChat audio.
Ray was examined and treated at the hospital. What we know for sure is that he has two fingers badly broken on his left hand and he is very beat up in general but nothing else appears to be broken. When you see the photos of the car, you know that they are all lucky to be alive.
In situations like this, it helps to be in good condition and Ray was in good condition when it happened. In retrospect, a major factor in survival was that the car didn’t hit any other cars, buildings, boulders, retaining walls or trees – which could have happened at any point along that highway. It was rather rare to have a stretch of road and time with no obstructions or cars.
This trip was to have lasted until February 27 but the accident cut it short and all members will return home. Ray said that it is traditional for people in that part of Nigeria to gather around an accident to say “I’m sorry” (to see your trouble) so you will see some people gathered in the photos. Ray said that about 100 people stopped to pay their respects.
Ray took took the photos below with his iPhone 3Gs.
Chronicle of My Husband Ray Gordon’s Car Crash in Nigeria and Medical Treatment with Photos
In a situation like this, friends and family are eager for updates so I provided them in one place with a link I could send them to.
Ray is safely back. The xray shows serious bone damage to his fingers. Cuts, bruises, can’t use left shoulder. His whole right side including his shoulder is very bruised and sore. He is feeling very, very glad to be alive.
This hard eyeglass case was crushed but protected Ray’s eyeglasses during the accident.
Ray is back from surgery. Dr. Shin did what needed to be done including putting two titanium screws in the pinky finger and three in the ring finger. There is post-operative pain and he is resting. It is good that we were able to get the surgery done relatively soon after the accident. No public post surgery photos yet but I’ll at least add the new cast (our third) when I can.
When he is awake, I bring in my laptop to show him your well wishes and they are much appreciated. Thank you!
Hand is throbbing worse today. Ray says that is to be expected since the nerves are beginning to mend and send electrical impulses. More aware that the other fingers on the hand are badly sprained. This third cast finally reveals the other fingers so we can see that are swollen, with limited mobility. Other body parts are feeling a little better than before.
Please see Post Surgery Update February 26 for photo of new cast.
Post surgical throbbing in hand is reduced somewhat. Feeling better this morning. Thank you so much for your comments of concern and encouragement here as well as on Ray’s Facebook page and Twitter. If you are not yet connected to Ray on Facebook, you can ping my Facebook and I’ll provide an assist. I expect Ray to be back on-line within the next few days.
Fourth orthopedic device applied to Ray’s hand, this time a removable splint so that rehab can begin.
Stitches were removed and the FIFTH orthopedic device was put on. It is a hand brace to support and protect the two fingers.
Surgical incisions are healing well but the fingers are still very stiff and all the joints need to significantly increase mobility before Ray can effectively use this hand. There is still significant swelling in the joints.
The left shoulder has very restricted range of motion. That shoulder was taped to offer additional support. Ray has begun a number of therapeutic rehab treatments to regain range of mobility and strength in his left shoulder and arm.