“The real battle is in your mind and some days you will lose that battle but you have to find a way to win the vast majority of days.”
Adair resident Eric Coomer says the internal battle he’s faced as a result of a horrific Feb. 1 car crash has been one of the toughest things he’s ever had to face.
“Patience has never been a strength of mine but I’ve learned that in some situations you are forced to have patience,” says Coomer.
Coomer had just left a local convenience store for coffee and breakfast on the morning of Feb. 1 when his life changed in the blink of an eye.
“I was heading to work around 5:15 a.m. and when I got to the intersection of the bypass and Burkesville Street I remember catching a glimpse of a vehicle coming towards me,” says Coomer. “I was knocked out by the impact but I came to before anyone arrived and was very dazed but I remember taking my seat belt off and discovering a bone protruding from my leg and part of my thumb was missing. I passed out again shortly after.”
Coomer was driving a 2005 Nissan on his way to Roy Anderson Lumber of Tompkinsville when his car was struck in the passenger side by an SUV that failed to stop at a red light at the intersection.
Coomer was treated on the scene by Adair County EMS and transported to T.J. Health Columbia before being transferred to UK Hospital by helicopter via Air Evac.
Eric’s left leg was broken in four places; the tibia was broken in two places, the fibula in one place, and his malleolus was broken in the ankle area.
Coomer lost a small part of his left thumb and his right leg had to have a few stitches in the shin; Coomer also had a tear in the calf muscle of his right leg and something went through his left knee during the wreck.
“I had a titanium rod put in my left knee down to my ankle with six screws and my colon was bruised but it didn’t cause any problems,” says Coomer. “I had a lot of bruises and cuts but I came home the evening of Feb. 7th.”
Eric has relied on help from his mother and his son for the past several months while recovering at home.
“My mom stayed with me early on until I regained my strength and was able to get around on my crutches,” says Coomer. “My son has helped me through it all, he’s been my hands and my grocery shopper. I must say prayer has helped me so much in this process. I’m thankful to God that I’m still here.”
Eric says that it has been tough to deal with immobility and he struggled through the first few weeks of bed rest.
“I had cabin fever and all I could do was eat, watch television, and sleep for the first few weeks after the wreck.”
Coomer slowly regained some strength after using a walker for nearly six weeks and the help and support of friends and family has carried him along this journey.
“I was really humbled by all the messages, visits, and prayers from people,” says Coomer. “The best advice I can give to anyone who is in a similar situation is to put their trust and faith in Jesus and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
Eric was a loyal member of Flex Appeal Fitness before the accident and he returned to the gym in early April to start working on building his body back up.
“It’s been tough and it’s been hard to get around at times but getting back to the gym has helped me tremendously, especially mentally,” says Coomer. “Prayer and getting back to the gym have been the best therapy.”
Eric has been doing physical therapy at home over the past couple of months too to help speed up the recovery process. His doctors say he should be able to make a complete recovery, although the titanium in his leg is there to stay. He is excited because he recently returned to work doing half days.
“It’s been a big morale booster getting back to work and I’ve been able to grade lumber from a seated position and I try to hit the gym about everyday too because that helps too,” says Coomer. “I just continue to thank God and I thank everyone for their prayers because I know the Lord has carried me through all this.”
By Adam Capps