Health Plus: Motorcycle crash survivor on road to recovery - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Motorcycle crash survivor on road to recovery


One eastern Iowa man's motorcycle crash was the beginning of a long road to recovery.

In Health Plus, how the Cedar Falls husband and father got back on his feet.

Ryan Zaugg has always been passionate about motorcycles.

"I've been riding since I was little. I kinda grew up on 'em, but I think I bought my first street bike when I was 17," he said.

So the September day when another car didn't see him riding his down Hudson Road in Cedar Falls, he was thankful a helmet and protective gear had always been mandatory attire.

"I think anybody who wears their personal protection equipment on a motorcycle is a lot smarter than we give them credit for and I don't know if I'm the smartest man around but at least I knew well enough to wear my protective gear," he added.

His severe injuries, including head trauma, have made months of recovery at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo challenging.

"When he came in initially, it took two of us to get him out of bed, sit him on the edge of the bed. He couldn't hold his head up and he couldn't hold his balance. We were holding him up. He was very confused," said Emily Mullen, one of his physical therapists. 

In the case of the 36-year-old father of three, his recovery is about a lot more than the physical rehabilitation.

A mental game is also involved.

"It takes a lot of patience some times. Explain things over and over again. This is what we're doing. This is why we're doing it. It's a lot of structure," she said.

Ryan, who's back working part-time at John Deere, plans to return to motorcycle riding.

Ryan's recovery is one of the stories featured in Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare's Community Benefit Report for 2011.

Go to to view it.

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