After a bicycle crash with a truck, ETX man finds Fit City Success

Fit City

TYLER (KYTX) - It's been almost 10 years since a bike ride changed an East Texas man's life forever. Terry Howlett was hit by a truck while he was riding on Highway 64 west, not far from Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.

Howlett suffered severe injuries that day.  He went into shock after getting hit by a truck going 50 miles per hour.

It was a long road to recovery, fueled with encouragement so he could get back to an athletic lifestyle.
"My wife arrived right before they put me on the helicopter out on 64 west and she prayed for me and I knew I would live then," says Terry Howlett.        

But Howlett had no idea how excruciating rehabilitation would be in the coming months.  "The truck hit me here and the bike kind of wrapped around the front of the truck because the impact was so great," says Terry.

Terry fought for his life.  "I lost about 40% of my body blood volume over a couple of days," says Terry. 

He sustained compound fractures to his left arm, ankle and leg, and endured several surgeries.
"This was the worst part right here (pointing to his leg).  I have a lot of titanium in here.  It took 2 years for the femur to finally connect at the worst part."

During his 6 weeks in the hospital, there were moments Terry wasn't sure he'd be active again, let alone walk.  "I had to go 12 days of hyper baric chamber treatment," says Terry. "They would put me in this tube for 90 minutes at a time, but it helped to save my leg and arm and I am very thankful for that." 

Terry moved out of physical therapy and into ETMC's Olympic Center.  "One of my favorite things I am doing right now is the spinner class.  It's a class and you are in a big circle and you have a leader and there is music and it just encouragement of the group therapy together," says Terry.

Terry believes encouragement was a powerful part of his healing process.  He credits much of his success to ETMC's doctors, nurses, therapists, family and friends.

"I don't think there is anything I can't do now and probably better than I was before," says Terry.
Terry believes being in good shape before the accident helped equip him.  He now flies with the Civil Air Patrol and occasionally will ride his bike, but only in a group.


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