For Some Perspective….

From Scout:

I was once an amateur bicycle racer and am still an avid cycle sport fan. As the seriousness of the shooting of Mr. Whittington by Dick Cneney has been downplayed the last few days, I have found myself thinking of the great cyclist Greg Lemond for perspective. He too was shot in a similar hunting accident.

This tragedy struck on April 20, 1987, when his brother-in-law accidentally shot Greg while hunting in California. Over forty shotgun pellets ripped through Greg’s body, lodging not only in his back and legs, but more critically in his small intestine, liver, diaphragm, and heart lining. While waiting for rescue, his right lung collapsed and he lost three quarters of his blood supply. A cell phone, a police helicopter and nearby hospital that specialized in gun shot wounds saved his life. Because of the dangerous locations, surgeons were forced to leave over thirty of the pellets imbedded in his body.

After the horrific shooting accident, LeMond put together a comeback, which went beyond the limits of the average man. Greg’s long rehabilitation process was both painful and frustrating. He had lost over twenty pounds, most of it pure muscle, and his level of fitness had decreased dramatically.

It took 2 years for Lemond to come back from that accident. It’s generally believed the accident prevented him from winning more races and cut short his career as he continued to suffer effects from the pellets lodged in his body. Now that was a young athlete in peak physical condition and Cheney’s victim is a 78 year old man. Yes the latter won’t be trying to recover to race bicycles but the former’s experience reminds me that getting sprayed with buckshot pellets is no trivial matter. I suspect Lemond was more seriously wounded than Whittington (hard to tell given what they disclose to us) but I also suspect Mr. Whittington has a long recovery ahead of him.