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December 24, 2002


From: Record-Searchlight, CA - 24 Dec 2002

Redding man embraces life after near-fatal accident

Bill Choy
Record Searchlight

December 24, 2002 — 2:18 a.m.
Arthur Scott uses a walker these days to get around his parents' Redding home.

While his movements are slow and deliberate, they represent great progress for a man who until three weeks ago was confined to a wheelchair after a near-fatal accident.

"It's a miracle he's able to stand," his father Terrance Scott, 63, said. "His hips were crushed so badly. When I first saw him get up, I couldn't believe it. I thought it would take at least a year."

Scott was seeking refuge from the sun on Aug. 6 when he parked himself below an oak tree in front of the Shasta County Opportunity Center, reading a book and waiting for a bus. He had just picked up his paycheck from the center when tragedy struck.

A speeding motorcyclist had lost control of his bike and before Scott — who has cerebral palsy and is hearing impaired — could react, the mass of swirling metal was upon him. The carnage to Scott's body would leave him fighting for his life.

The force of the collision tore his pelvis from his spine; his liver, kidney and bladder were damaged and his spleen was removed in the course of a 10-hour operation that day. In his first two weeks at Mercy Medical Center, Scott received approximately 100 units of blood.

"We thought we had lost him so many times. It was like a roller coaster," Terrance Scott said of those anxious days after the crash.

But his son, who was 39 at the time, clung to life and on Sept. 20 was transferred to the Northern California Rehabilitation Hospital in Redding. He left there Oct. 20 and moved into his parents' home where he continues to recover.

"Everything's OK. We have Arthur," his father said. "It's a miracle to have him with us this Christmas. Our greatest present is him."

Terrance Scott said he was impressed with the work of the doctors and nurses at Mercy, whom he said saved his son's life.

"If it wasn't for the good Lord and the superior doctors he had, he probably wouldn't be here today," he said.

Janice Scott, 62, said nurses at the hospital even learned some sign language to better communicate with her son.

"They went above and beyond the call of duty," she said.

Janice Scott said her son's good-natured attitude about life has served him well during this trying time.

"Since the accident, he hasn't had a 'poor-me' day," she said."He's been absolutely marvelous about it. . . . He accepts what's happened and goes on."

Police, too, are moving forward with their investigation into the crash. They haven't finished, but when they do they'll forward reports to the Shasta County district attorney's office, said police Sgt. Paul Grooms.

Prosecutors there will decide if the driver of the motorcycle — 24-year-old Jesse Alyn Bacon of Redding — should face charges.

In the meantime, Scott goes through intense physical therapy sessions two days a week at the rehabilitation center.

He still doesn't have any feeling in his right ankle and foot and he's unable to use his left wrist, although he can move his fingers.

Each day, Scott does therapy and exercises and his father massages his back, feet, legs and hands.

Scott's goal is to shed the walker by February.

"It's never entered into his mind that he will not be the same before the accident," Janice Scott said. "He's still in quite a bit of pain almost every time he moves or walks. But he doesn't let it get in the way."

Despite his painstaking recovery, Scott does his best to live a normal life. He spends time on the computer and plays cards with his mother.

"I beat her all the time," Scott said through a translator — his mom.

Terrance Scott said one of his son's passions is bowling. He sported a 180 average before the accident and his high score was 259. He was a well-known fixture at Shasta Lanes on Black Marble Court.

Scott recently returned to the bowling ally and initially couldn't hit a single pin. But his game has improved and he's now cracked the 100 mark a few times, Terrace Scott said.

"He's making quite a comeback," his father said.

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