Wednesday’s Warrior: Cyclist credits helmet to saving his life in training accident, son wins race in his honor

Wednesday's Warrior

(WTNH) — It’s something he literally lives by. Always wear a helmet!

“You need one because it’s so easy to take a hit in the head,” said Brad Kerr.

The helmet he wore while cycling this past April was likely what saved the 61-year-old’s life.

“I’ve been riding mountain bikes since 1989.”

He was training for an upcoming race. “I had all my fastest times up until I hit the tree” and that’s when his life changed. He was all alone.

“And I figured somebody would come along sooner or later, and I said I think I’ll just take a nap now and that’s what I did.”

He was eventually found and eventually Life Stared to Hartford Hospital. That’s where he underwent spinal cord surgery before being transferred to Gaylord Specialty Care in Wallingford, where he still is today.

“I’ve just been happy.” Months later takes every day step by step. ”With a zero-gravity, which I’m hooked up and it takes some of the weight off, I’ve walked 200 steps.”

He’s got a warrior mindset.

“Within the first couple weeks, when he couldn’t even move anything, he said something to the tune of ‘when I ride again,’” said son William Kerr.

You see, that day in April of 2021, Brad wasn’t training for just any race, he was training for a Father’s Day race with his son, William. When William wasn’t cheering on his dad reminding him to keep on going, he kept his training. “I felt like I was doing it for him.”

He went on to ride in the race.

“During the whole race, all I could think was push, push go and do it for him.” William ended up winning his age class. “That was pretty emotional.”

But get this: The race organizers had deleted Willams registration information and not Brad’s, so all that time, William was racing under his father’s credentials. He truly went on to win in his father’s name.

“Then he came down the next day and brought me the medal that he won. It’s hanging up in my room” said Brad.

Next to the helmet that saved his life.

For those who would like to donate, Brad Kerr has a Go Fund Me page.

WEB EXTRA: Megan Palmer, the ThinkFirst program manager and Occupational Therapist at Gaylord Hospital, explains why helmets are so important:

For more information on helmet safety, visit thinkfirst.org/bicycle-safety.

If you know of a warrior in your community who you believe should be recognized for helping others, you can nominate them to be “Wednesday’s Warrior.” Just send a submission to reportit@wtnh.com to tell us why we need to meet them!

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