A Charlotte man who crashed his bicycle outside his neighborhood is fighting for his life after severe damage to his brain.
ALSO READ: Cyclist severely injured after hit by car wants safer roads in Rowan, Iredell counties
Pravinraj Radha was riding his new bicycle in mid-May along Senator Royall Drive near University City when he lost control and crashed, his family said.
“He actually lost control of the bicycle and hit hard on the ground,” said Paru Subramonian, a family friend.
Good Samaritans who saw the crash rushed to help and called police, according to Subramonian. Radha was rushed to Atrium CMC Main where they hurried to stop internal bleeding and tended to several brain injuries. Family members said Radha was not wearing a helmet since the one he ordered online had not yet arrived.
“His major injuries are to his head, which (is) to his brain stem, left, right — everything is injured,” Subramonian said. “It’s a very nightmarish scene.”
He didn’t have an ID on him and his wife and parents were half a world away in India. Not knowing who it was, Subramonian said they didn’t know what happened until Radha’s wife called his phone and a nurse answered it and explained what happened.
Over the next few weeks, doctors stabilized and tried their best to tend to his injuries, Subramonian explained. Radha’s parents and wife, who flew to Charlotte, were told his chances of survival were slim.
“He was pretty bad,” Subramonian explained. “He was hooked up to the ventilator. He was fully unconscious.”
Radha’s family wants his care to continue at a hospital in India in order to be closer to family during his long recovery.
“We want to give him that chance,” Subramonian said.
However, it’s an expensive international transfer.
Subramonian said his family was told that a medical flight to India would cost them $250,000.
Atrium Health agreed to pay for the flight to get him to a hospital in India that has agreed to continue his care, according to Subramonian.
“We thank God almost every day,” said Subramonian, elated by the kind gesture.
ALSO READ: Vision Zero Initiative remembers victims of Charlotte traffic-related crashes
Channel 9 asked Atrium Health to confirm their sponsorship of the flight. They couldn’t give any information, citing HIPAA.
Radha’s family was told he may not ever be able to work again and his recovery could take years.
His family hopes and prays for the best, while asking others in the cycling community to do everything they can to protect themselves, including wearing a helmet.
“One small mistake can cost a person’s life,” Subramonian said. “We should not take life for granted. We should value every moment and should do whatever we can [to take] precautions.”
The family created a GoFundMe page to help Radha’s family with medical costs. You can click here to help.
(Watch the video below: Former NFL coach Tom Coughlin recovering after bicycle accident)
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