Splendid Cycles Big Sale

Update on Karl Moritz: Family prepares for future, asks for support

Posted by on July 12th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Karl Moritz
(Photo courtesy Moritz Family)

It’s been just over two weeks since a crash on SE Ladd Avenue sent Portland resident Karl Moritz to the hospital with multiple fractures and a serious brain injury. Days later he clung to life in a coma as his family tried to piece together what might have happened and realized that their lives would likely never be the same.

As I write this today, Karl remains comatose in the intensive care unit at OHSU hospital. Karl’s wife Staci says in recent days Karl has been opening his eyes and “apparently trying to focus,” but he’s still unable to follow commands. The Moritz family has been told by OHSU’s Chief of Trauma that if Karl doesn’t regain consciousness in the next 3-8 weeks “he probably never will”.

On a website set up to raise money for the family, Staci explains the extent of Karl’s injuries:

“… a traumatic brain injury, specifically, Diffuse Axonal Injury, and likely facing a persistent and possibly permanent vegetative state requiring a very high level of skilled nursing care.”

Staci Moritz is now struggling to make ends meet and continue to raise their three sons; Aidan (7), Elliot (4) and Ariel (2). Karl has health insurance through his employer, Nike, but it won’t cover the impending long-term care he’ll need. Staci was recently laid off from her job and is yet to find another.

Friends, supporters and neighbors have rallied around the Staci and her kids, to which she is very grateful; “Thank you everyone who has reached out to our family with kind words, well wishes and offers of tangible assistance. We need all of the above so very much in this time.”





You can learn more about Karl and the Moritz family at HelpForKarl.com. You can also donate via the PayPal button above or by clicking through to the website for information on a bank account fund that has been set up.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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kitten
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kitten

this is so incredibly sad and serves to remind us of the fragility of life. bicycle mechanical tolerances are so narrow.

Lisa P
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Lisa P

Heart wrenching…

Jerry_W
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Jerry_W

So very sad, I’m hoping for improvement soon.

Please where your helmets, if you don’t have one, get one. If you don’t think you need one, read the article again.

fro
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fro

Wear is my helmet, I need to where it.

Jerry_W
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Jerry_W

Correction so noted…..wear your helmets.

twilliam
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twilliam

Donated. I’m the poppa of 3 kids and I can only imagine the f-ing devastation this family is going through.

Good luck and speedy recovery, Karl.

jv
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jv

From the original article about this sad crash, I believe that the rider was wearing a helmet. A helmet is no guarantee that you won’t recieve brain injury in an accident, unfortunately. Ride safe and be careful everyone.

kiol
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kiol

Let’s not turn this thread into a helmet war. Helmets are good, not a magical charm.

wsbob
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wsbob

I also recall several mentions that Karl was wearing a helmet, including one from his wife who posted a comment to the earlier thread. Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the vehicles contact with his body, the helmet may not have been able to do much good. I recall Karl got dragged by the vehicle after it made contact with his body.

Hard to say exactly though. The sequence and events of collisions and impacts are complicated things. There’s documented news reports of people wearing helmets that have had their heads actually rolled over by a motor vehicle’s tire have survived with little injury(not the kind of contact helmet’s are designed to protect against by the way).

Wearing a bike helmet offers some protection, but people should be realistically informed about what level of protection that is. It’s not a magic force field. It has some very finite limitations.

PDXbiker
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PDXbiker

Tragic. This could have happened to any of us.

John
Guest
John

This is devastating news. I met Karl on my commutes home from Hillsboro, we often ran into each other near his office, and saw each other almost daily waiting for the morning train. Karl was a joy to ride with, he loved to talk about bikes and cycling, and he always spoke fondly of his family. I am thankful to be able to receive this news, so I can help out Karl’s family, and I hope to ride with him again some day.

BURR
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BURR

Jonathan – a previous article said Staci quit her job to care for Karl, not that she had been laid off.

Also, Im willing to bet Nike has some sort of long term disability insurance in their employee benefits package too. It may not cover 100% of his lost salary, but it would certainly be more than nothing.

KWW
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KWW

You people are preposterous. Bicycle helmets by design are only to protect against falls, not getting hit by a vehicle. Don’t think for a second that 50 cents of styrofoam will protect you.

I will be praying for Karl.

Rob
Guest
Rob

BURR (#12), I believe that long term disability insurance is usually elective when offered. So, even if Nike does offer it Karl may have had to select it (and paid for it). This is something all of us cyclists should keep in mind (if we’re fortunate enough to have this insurance option).

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Nike does not require election to get long term disability insurance.

Girlfriend works for Nike and she got it without asking.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Keep in mind there is a big difference between long term disability and long term care insurance. Long term disability ensures you will continue to recieve a portion of your paycheck but it does NOT cover long term care costs which will be tremendous in this situation. The long term care insurance is an elective option where as the long term disability is automatic. The family is asking for help with the massive costs associated with the CARE of Karl. Hope this clears it up.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Our minds and bodies can have amazing recoveries. That Ladd block is in my regular commute, so I now ride it consciously with this well wish to Karl, Staci & the boys.

Rob
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Rob

I just realized that I posted an earlier comment on the techicalities of insurance, but didn’t share my thoughts for Karl, Staci and their family (what a schmuck I am!). To all of you, I sincerely hope for the best. I’ve been checking in every day hoping for a miracle. My thoughts are with you, please let bikeportland know if you have needs other than donations to your site.

Staci
Guest
Staci

Thank those of you for the kind comments about our family. Please remember, others who have not been so sensitive, that we are deeply, irreversibly traumatized and words matter.

Burr: it is irrelevant whether i quit my job or was laid off. i am devoting my entire life to care of karl and our children. your comment was inappropriate and unhelpful.

also, to clarify again, karl WAS wearing and ALWAYS DID wear a helmet.

Staci
Guest
Staci

…and one more point of clarification (rumors tend to spin out of control): nike DOES require electioin of long term care benefits. unfortunately, we could not afford the premiums so karl does not have it.

i’d also like to publicly say that nike has been nothing short of family to us throughout this tragedy. the help, support and love of his friends coworkers and administrators has been truly touching and our family is deeply grateful.

Ted
Guest
Ted

Staci,
You have disability options under Social Security. If your not aware of them by now (which would be quite surprising) then you better start applying and (in some cases) fighting for them.
Fortunately these days the medical community is very advanced in dealing with these kinds of things. They are going to be more pessimistic than chances actually are due to liability concerns but you still have a good chance Karl will regain consciousness and have some functionality. Lots of people have recovered from far worse. And a coma is the bodies means of repairing itself. Don’t give up hope.
As for the naysayers, you could fall off a stepladder tomorrow hanging a picture in your house and become permanently disabled. Plenty of people take far worse chances than riding a bike in traffic and nothing bad happens to them. Living is a risky business and if you can’t deal with the risk, maybe you should consider joining a monastary.

Dan Hawk
Guest
Dan Hawk

Any update on Karl’s condition? We’ve been thinking of and praying for your family!

Glenna Stone
Guest
Glenna Stone

Hi Staci,
I used to work with Karl at Eddie Bauer. The word has gotten to us today that Karl is awake and talking! We are all so happy and relieved to hear that this is the beginning of his road to recovery! You are a strong woman.

Eli-P
Guest
Eli-P

Hi Staci,

Can you please provide us with an update in regards to Karl’s condition? I see Glenna Stone mentioned some great progress and I am sure everyone following this thread would like to know. Is this true? I really hope to see him again at work.

Best, Eli-P

John
Guest
John

I’d love to hear another update on Karl’s condition. Has anybody heard anything recently?

Snyder Family
Guest
Snyder Family

I keep checking back too. Any news?

Robin
Guest
Robin

I’m a friend and co-worker of Karls and have visited him several times through his recovery. He is now in a re-hab facility in Portland, and he is making great progress. He is in therapy for speech, writing, and doing a little riding on a stationary bike, but the doctors don’t want him to put alot of weight on his injured right leg yet. He was going to have an MRI to check his recovery but I did not hear how that went. He is realistic about not knowing yet how far he will recover, but I see our friend Karl back fully in his personality and great humor. His treach is out and he can talk better, and I asked him to yell my name and he did! We all laughed at that. He also led us on a walk through his ward (he was scooting along in his wheel chair unassisted) and pressed the elevator button like he was trying to escape, it was hilarious. The Bible says a friend loves at all times, but a brother is born from adversity, and all of us at Nike who know Karl consider ourselves a closely knit family over this. I’m so thankful to God that Karl is recovering and his 3 little boys will have their Papa back.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Robin…that’s great news! However he comes by it, he seems to have resilience and an optimistic outlook we could all use a little more of.

Guest
Karl "Kajomo" Moritz

Hello fellow B/P, PDX cyclist, I wanted to share a update on my status.
Hum…, My thoughts are what should a bicyclist survivor do after surviving a nearly fatal bicycle accident? Volunteer at B.T.A. (https://btaoregon.org/) and at Bike Farm (http://bikefarm.org/). And Oh Yeah and you got it, Learn how to build a custom bicycle and here’s the link to my bike build story!
http://cyclingperspective.com/art-therapy-my-self-propelled-dream-machine/
Thanks for your time to read my build story and Ride Wise<Karl