Mike Bui
"This is Spinal Crack"
Lubbock hospital send me home with funky back.
Houston, after 3 months op.
Houston, after 6 months op.
         The plan was to leave from my house in Houston, TX on April 19, 2008. This was all part of my weekend trek to do the Iron Butt Association's SaddleSore & Bunburner (1k miles in 24hrs &1.5k miles in 36 hrs.) at the same time.

         Unfortunately, 12 hrs. into the ride, and right after my 700 mile break in Lajitas, TX, I headed West towards Presidio, TX on River Rd (Ranch Rd 170), towards the sunset. As I came up a hill, the evening sun blinded me such that I couldn't see the road, and the last thing I remember was the road turning left. I couldn't turn in time, so I went straight into the dry dirt field just beyond. The last thing I remember was the front wheel tank slap, and then I was quickly on the ground. I cried out inside of my helmet, feeling the pain in my back as I came to a stop in a dry ditch. I was able to get to my cell phone in hopes of having a signal, but there was none. The clock showed 7:10 p.m. and the surroundings were eerily quiet; I knew I had only an hour or so before dark arrived. There was nothing left to do but lay there and hope/wait for help. From where I lay, I could see my bike 20 feet or so away from where I was. Stuff from my top and side bags were scattered everywhere.

         Suddenly, I heard a group of bikers that went by and they slowly turned around and parked. I could hear footsteps closing in. I yelled out for help, and they all looked down and saw me! A few came down to help, and some went back into town to call the Medic. I laid there for another hour and half waiting for the medics to arrive, and it took  another hour and half to get to Alpine hospital.That same night, they flew me out to Lubbock Medical Hospital, after learning I had a fracture at the L1 vertebrae in my back. My wife drove down two days later in time for my surgery, where they performed a kyphoplasty (balloon/cement fill-in) at the L1 vertebrae and released me for home.

         A few weeks later as I tried to get around, I realized I couldn't walk without having what felt like multiple electric shock sensations going down my left leg. So I went to see my neurosurgeon in Houston and he explained to me that Lubbock Hospital only stabilized the fracture, but they didn't decompress the L1 vertebrae and the spinal cord. That's where the electric shock sensations were coming from. To stabilize my back they want to do another surgery; fuse T10-T11-T12 & L1-L2-L3. After many second opinions with other Doctors, I seem to have no choice to move forward with a second surgery.

       Today, I cannot express my feeling about having a second chance to do things that I love to do and with people that know and care for.