Friends, family and teammates of Leia Tyrrell, an Oregon State University cyclist, are working to raise funds for her hospital bills after she suffered a head injury in a bicycle race on April 2.
Only about 500 meters from the finish line at about 8 p.m., Tyrrell was winning the stage of the Cherry Blossom Cycling Classic in The Dalles and was in fourth place in the overall race. She took a turn at about 30 mph and crashed, landing on her head, said her coach, Anne Linton.
“Who knows what happened,” Linton said.
Tyrrell was taken by helicopter to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center, where she has been since the accident. She was moved from the intensive care unit a few days later and was reported to be in fair condition Tuesday.
Tyrrell, 21, is a sophomore studying animal science. She is on the OSU cycling team as well as the Sorella Forte team in Portland, her hometown. She is the Oregon Bike Racing Association’s 2010 road race champion and also was a member of the USA Cycling Nature Valley collegiate all-star team.
“She is so strong and such a dedicated athlete,” Linton said.
Linton said that Tyrrell is showing good signs of rehabilitation. She is able to eat and recognize people.
“She’s definitely improving,” Linton said.
Linton set up a CaringBridge account for Tyrrell and her family, where people can make donations toward the student’s steady recovery.
“As a student, health insurance isn’t the greatest,” Linton said. She said that the bicycle community is a tight-knit group of people that wants to help.
“She’s just a really good kid,” Linton said. “The plan now is that she’s going to do well and get back on her bike.”