Cedar Falls motorcycle crash survivor talks recovery - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Cedar Falls motorcycle crash survivor talks recovery


Last fall Ryan Zaugg's life changed in an instant when he was thrown from his motorcycle in a crash on September 12.

It happened at 7 a.m. on Hudson Road in Cedar Falls.

"I normally take that path because for motorcycles it's the more safe of any directions that I went out on. It was a route that had less traffic stops. 'Cause I just went down Hudson, got on 20 and came to work," Zaugg said.

The 35-year-old father of three had severe head and internal injuries when another driver didn't see him and knocked him off his bike.

Ryan, who served in Iraq as a National Guard captain never dreamed the toughest battle he would fight would be here at home.

"As far as I've come, I'm probably about a third of where I wanna be. I just wanna be back to where I was and that was being a healthy, active person, an army officer. It was just being able to stop at the drop of a hat and do something with my kids and now I can't really do that like I want to."

His wife Nancy has been by his side through extensive surgeries and months of physical therapy at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo.

"He had a broken pelvis. He had two broken wrists, a broken hand and he also had, they called it, a traumatic brain injury," she said.

Ryan, a motorcycle enthusiast for years, says his helmet and protective gear saved his life.

"I still wanna ride a motorcycle. I'm a 100 percent believer in helmets. Obviously they played a role in my recovery, actually me surviving the accident. But I wouldn't have ridden the motorcycle without a helmet in the first place," Ryan said.

"When they told me that he was going to be okay and most of the doctors told me it was because he had a helmet on that he was alive," Nancy said.

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