British PRO Ironman athlete Caroline Livesey confirmed last week that she has been diagnosed with a fractured sacrum.
On 11th May Caroline was out training on her Orbea Ordu when she was the victim of a vicious assault. A van driver became impatient at having to wait behind a bike on a twisty country road. This impatience was compounded when he had to slam his brakes on to avoid hitting a dog, and Caroline narrowly avoided hitting the back of his van. With anger out of all proportion to the incident, the driver then waited around a blind bend for Caroline slightly further up the road. When she rounded the bend he got out of his vehicle and proceeded to pull Caroline off her bike. As she was moving at speed the resulting impact left Caroline with nasty bruising to her back and head.
Caroline stated, “There was a witness who arrived at the scene seconds later and called an ambulance. I was in agony, but I thought that the injuries were just bad bruising and cuts. Unfortunately almost the entire force from the impact went through two small areas, the back of my head (resulting in a smashed helmet) and my sacrum. I didn’t slide on the road as you would normally when you come off your bike. The pain over the coming days became worse and I developed new and worrying symptoms which led me to seek specialist advice last week. Originally thought to be a prolapsed disk I was sent for an MRI, but this actually showed a fracture to the sacrum amongst other associated soft tissue damage.”
The assault came just as Caroline was ramping her training back up following a great race at Ironman Texas in April. Obviously disappointed, Caroline is trying to stay positive:
“This fracture means that I will have to be non-weight bearing for a considerable time to let it heal. Essentially it will prevent me from racing this summer, and I am gutted that all my plans for racing have had to be shelved at the moment. However, at least fractures tend to have a finite healing time and I hope that I will be back training in another 3-6 weeks. I am already considering races at the back end of 2017 and intend to return to competition fully fit and with additional fire in my belly!”.
There have been an increased number of attacks on cyclists by other road users in recent months and Caroline says she has been overwhelmed by the support she has received from the cycling and triathlon community. The perpetrator of the assault is known to the Police and the case will progress to court.