Manitoba

Winnipeg cyclist pinned under SUV on the road to recovery

Six months after being pinned under an SUV and spending two months in a coma, a Winnipeg cyclist is back on her feet and on her way to recovering.

Family secretly told woman who spent 2 months in coma might never recover

Janice Naccarato is home and recovering. She credits strangers and her medical team for saving her life. (Submitted by Jayce Naccarato)

Six months after being pinned under an SUV and spending two months in a coma, a Winnipeg cyclist is back on her feet and on her way to recovering.

Janice Naccarato was riding her bicycle to work for the first time of the spring season on the morning of May 31 when she was hit by an SUV at the corner of St. Mary's Road and Fermor Avenue. The SUV rolled, trapping her underneath and requiring passers-by to lift the vehicle off her body.

Naccarato, who was wearing a helmet when she was hit, spent 62 days in a coma before she woke up. Jayce said she remembers nothing about the day she was hit.

"It's just the brain's way of partially protecting itself from any other extra stress and trauma, and I don't think she'll ever remember anything that happened," her son Jayce said. 

Despite not remembering the day of the accident, Naccarato woke up remembering her family, he said. 

"She was unable to speak because she had a tracheotomy, so she had a tube in her throat. She woke up — her eyes were wide awake. We walked in. I said, 'Do you remember me?' and she nodded her head slowly and I think that was the tipping point in our lives."

Janice Naccarato, Taylor Naccarato and Carol Knott during Janice's recovery in this photo supplied by the family. (Taylor Naccarato)

After waking up, Naccarato spent several weeks at Health Sciences Centre before being transferred to Riverview Health Centre, where she underwent intensive physiotherapy. She is still recovering, said Jayce, but has gone from using a walker to walking unassisted, albeit slowly. 

She is now at home and the people who helped her are asking to meet her, said Jayce.

"We're currently in talks to co-ordinate with everybody," he said. "I did ask her and I let her know that there were people that were interested [in meeting her]. She said that she wanted to wait until she was a little bit better to face her heroes.

"The first person that we're seeing should be in the next week or so, just a little bit of an informal meeting, maybe coffee, just to say thanks."

"I would like to thank a lot of people involved in my survival," Janice Naccarato said. "I am back at home now and trying to get back into a physical program myself, so that I can recuperate completely."

"Doctors, medical staff, the people at the accident itself, friends, family, strangers in Winnipeg — we are so humbled by all the support that we have gotten," Jayce said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elisha Dacey

Journalist

Elisha Dacey was a journalist with CBC Manitoba. She is the former managing editor of Metro Winnipeg and her work has been seen in newspapers from coast to coast.

With files from Information Radio

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