A beloved member of our community was involved in a collision with a truck driver while bicycling over the weekend and has sustained serious injuries.
Sukho Viboolsittiseri was riding in Damascus (a rural city southeast of Portland) on Saturday (5/27) when the incident occurred. According to his wife, Melanie Latthitham, that’s all Sukho remembers at this point. In text messages this morning, Melanie shared with me that they are still waiting to learn more from the police report.
The full extent Sukho’s injuries are unclear to me at this point (I’ll update this post as I learn more), but so far he’s had at least one major procedure. Melanie said an operation on his spinal cord Tuesday night “went well.” Sukho faces another surgery to repair his pelvis sometime today.
A GoFundMe set up by Sukho’s sister on Sunday has raised nearly $25,000 — blowing through the $5,000 goal. “Thank you so much for all the support… He is in good spirits and I believe everyone’s support of him boosted his energy. He will be going into surgery later today and tomorrow,” his sister wrote in an update Tuesday night.
“I cannot express enough how thankful I am for all the friends, family, biking community and well wishers for the kindness that is uplifting his spirits.”
The outpouring of support shows the impact Sukho has had on many people.
To say Sukho loves bicycling and the community around it is a vast understatement. It’s his “second favorite thing in the world,” behind only his family, says his sister. He’s one of the co-founders of BikePOCPNW, the inclusive riding group that won an Alice Award from The Street Trust in 2021. He is also a regular ride leader with Our Mother the Mountain (OMTM) and is known in the local randonneuring scene.
Please keep Sukho and his family in your thoughts during this difficult time. If you want to share financial support or a message, here’s the GoFundMe page again.
We are with you Sukho! Stay strong and know that the community has your back — and whatever you need to get through this.
UPDATE, 5/31: Sukho has shared an update via his brother:
My friends. My family. On Saturday my life changed in an instant. I was doing what I loved most, riding my bike on a lonely country road. The wind in my hair, the sound of birds in my ears and blue sky above me. In an instant my life changed forever when I collided at high-speed with a truck and ended up pinned underneath it. I had to be airlifted to the hospital where several MRIs and x-rays revealed multiple injuries along my spine and spinal cord as well as a fractured pelvis.
I lied immobile flat on my back for three days, waiting for surgery to remove 2 discs on my neck to relieve pressure on my spinal cord which in turn caused me to lose sensation in my left arm. Surgery went well And I hope to return feeling in my arms soon. This Friday, I am scheduled to have surgery to fix my fractured pelvis. So, my life has changed in an instant. I tell you all this to remind you all to never miss the chance to show your friends and your family that you care about them. To hold them close, tell them you love them, to send them a kind message. Life can change in an instant, and nothing is ever for sure. Words cannot express my gratitude for all of you sending your well wishes and healing thoughts. I’m also eternally grateful for your donations on my GoFundMe to help us pay for what’s going to be astronomical medical bills. As the sole breadwinner of this family, it helps to put my mind at ease as I start my healing process. We are forever grateful for your help.
I have a long road ahead of me and I know that you’ll be by my side. Thank you. I love you and please take care of each other.