First, I would like to introduce you to myself. I’m Scott Perzentka, I nearly lost my life on July 3, 2003.
It was the day before the 4th of July, Independence Day We had finished with work early so everyone could enjoy a long holiday weekend. I normally would have had the company truck, but because of the holiday, and the rare Wisconsin beautiful weather, I was driving my motorcycle instead. I just left the office and there in front of me was an on-coming semi. He had decided at that particular moment, that this was going to be the place he stopped for fuel and a bite to eat. As he proceeded, his mind was on completing his mission and not on the surrounding traffic. He proceeded to make a left turn right into my path. I locked the brakes and applied everything I had learned from 28 years of motorcycle riding, but it just was not enough. I literally came face to face with the front of this huge, immovable object. I hit the the front of the truck head on and broke my jaw. then I flew into the air, landed on my back, breaking ribs, my pelvis and hip. I sustained a closed head brain injury as well. I was not wearing a helmet and I know that people will want to debate that issue, but that is not what I’m here for.
By the grace of God, my life was spared. I did spend 3 months in the hospital. I had to learn how to walk, talk and maintain a thought process all over again. The things that we all take for granted now became huge challenges. With all my being, I thank the doctors, nurses, therapists, family and friends that never gave up on me. Having a strong support system is key to regaining one’s life in the face of what then appeared to be an insurmountable challenge.
I was released from the hospital on September 11, 2003. This gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “ground zero.” I had to start at the bottom to relearn my life, my business, and everyday responsibilities. All my months of therapy had given me time to think about how this accident was not even my fault, yet my life will never be the same again. I had my whole life going in the right direction, only to start the process of rebuilding it all over again. I was an up-and coming businessman with many opportunities on my horizon; it all ended in the hands of another driver!
This accident, as all accidents, affects us physically, mentally, and emotionally. It leaves scars. Sometimes these scars fade and sometimes they just remain an ugly reminder, but I have vowed not to allow myself to have a bad day. There may be bad minutes, or bad hours, but never a bad day! It takes more energy to have a bad day than it does to have a good day! Maintaining a sense of humor is very important. If everyone could just smile more, I believe they would not be so exhausted at the end of the day.