Nick Geary and his mother, Debbie, at the scene of his accident, the Grafton skatepark.
Nick Geary and his mother, Debbie, at the scene of his accident, the Grafton skatepark.

Lucky to be alive


NICK Geary has a stark warning for fellow BMX riders ? wear your helmets.

The 12-year-old Grafton High School student knows just how important bike helmets are ? one saved his life on July 10 when he crashed while doing a trick at the Grafton skatepark.

But Nick was lucky that day.

The only reason he was wearing his helmet was because his mother, Debbie, saw a picture of Nick and his brother riding their bikes at the skatepark without helmets.

"I'd seen the picture so I gave the boys a bit of a lecture about wearing their helmets," Ms Geary said.

"I just want to make people aware of how important it is for kids to wear their helmets because imagine the damage to his skull if he hadn't been. He could be dead right now."

Although he broke his neck and will have to wear a halo for the next eight to 12 weeks, without a helmet Nick's doctors say he would have been either permanently paralysed or killed.

"If the break had been a fraction lower he would have been paralysed and if it had been a fraction higher he wouldn't be with us today," Ms Geary said.

"The doctor said that it (the helmet) pretty much saved his life."

Nick, who received his BMX for Christmas, said not all riders around the Clarence Valley wore helmets.

"Yeah ? some of them do," he said.

"But they should wear their helmets, for sure."

Ms Geary praised the efforts of another teenager at the park, who went to get help after Nick's accident.

"There was another boy at the skatepark with enough sense not to move him and to call the ambulance. He was 15 at the time," she said.

"I just went into shock when I found out about Nick. I didn't know at that point how bad it was but I was hoping he'd been wearing his helmet."

Despite his accident, Nick is resolute about getting back on his bike in time ? as long as he is allowed.

"He'll be allowed to ride but I don't think he'll be back at the skatepark for a while," Ms Geary said.

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