There’s possibly no better feeling of freedom than being out in scenic Nevada, exploring the desert while doing one of your favorite hobbies. For Perry Levine, that’s dirt bike racing. What started as a great day for Levine, ended with him going over a cliff and breaking his back, suffering a burst fracture. He had to ride 14 miles on the back of someone else’s bike to get help.
Perry Levine headed out to the Nevada desert with a group of friends and his boss to try out his brand new dirt bike. He never thought that a day of dirt bike racing in Wilson Canyon, Yerington, Nevada, would end in injury.
The Dirt Bike Accident
The group was having a lot of fun until the weather changed and it began to rain. “I was coming down a hill and I started sliding sideways,” recalls Levine. “A foot away from the cliff, I was like ‘Oh my God’ and fell off the cliff and landed on my bike, and my butt hit the seat. I was laying there and I just remember that my legs and everything below my waist were numb. I couldn’t walk.”
Levine suffered a a spinal cord injury and rode out of the canyon 14 miles on the back of his boss’ bike. His parents took him to Renown Regional Medical Center where he stayed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a few days and underwent surgery for an L5 burst fracture. A burst fracture is an injury in which the vertebra, the primary bone of the spine, breaks in multiple directions.
Beating the Odds After a Burst Fracture
After surgery, Levine was admitted to Renown Rehabilitation Hospital for therapy, where he had an inspiring recovery. “There was a big question of whether he was ever going to regain some of the motor function in his legs and the function of his bowels, the function of his bladder,” says Renown Rehabilitation Doctor, Tim Pence, DO, Physiatrist. Levine worked extremely hard several hours a day with staff of the Rehab Hospital. Miraculously, he was able to leave the hospital in a week wearing an upper body brace.