By Neto Baptiste
There is a notion that men must be tough and, after falling, we must bravely pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back on the proverbial horse without showing the slightest bit of emotion.
Although for some this may be possible, cyclist Sean Weathered has found it quite difficult from a mental standpoint even after mustering the courage to climb back onto his bike and take to the streets just two weeks after he and three other cyclists were struck by a car while out on an early morning ride on the Sir George Walter Highway.
“That was a nerve-racking experience and I was happy that a lot of guys were out on Sunday, so riding with them offered a lot of comfort, but it’s a tough place to be mentally. I was just downright scared [going back out on Sunday].
“I am not a fearful person by nature but after being hit and watching the other guys get hit, it’s a constant looking over your shoulder, and every car you hear, every brake you hear, there is a constant thought that goes through your head,” he said.
Sean Weathered, 45, was the first rider who was struck by the Toyota Vitz early on Mother’s Day, after which he watched the rest of the incident unfold as Andre Simon, Ghere Coates and Tiziano Rosignoli were hit before the car apparently sped off then crashed into a lamppost a short distance away.
“That’s the hard part about the situation because after being hit I laid on the ground and watched everything else unfold; that’s the hard part about this situation for me. The mental aspect is the hardest part for me, so it was and is still tough. Progress [therapy wise] has been good, and I am now beginning to sleep a little more because after the first week I didn’t get any sleep because the mind would not stop reliving the moment over and over again. Counselling is working so I am getting a little more sleep now and jumping back on my bike,” the cyclist said.
Simon remains hospitalised at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) with family members desperately trying to raise funds in order to fly the national cyclist out of Antigua for medical attention.
Weathered made a passionate plea for all to support the effort.
“Since getting back here from university he started a club for youngsters and he got several youngsters involved in the sport, spending money out of his pocket. He has been using his racing wheel so they can use his training wheel, he has gotten bikes from the association and he is out there with them in the afternoons in his car driving around and that’s the person we are talking about,” he said.
“He is a former national champion who has represented Antigua at the OECS and has won medals at the Caribbean championships, participated at the Commonwealth Games so my plea goes out to Antigua, the Antigua people and the Antigua government. The Minister of Sports [Daryll Matthew], if you’re listening too, Andre needs help. He has given to this country and now it is time for us to help him,” Weathered added.
A number of accounts have been opened at banks here where members of the public are encouraged to financially support Simon’s treatment and recovery. Accounts have been opened Caribbean Union Bank AC# 20004089, the Community First Cooperative Credit Union AC# 098425, and the Eastern Caribbean Amaglamated Bank AC# 131003564.
Donations can also be made through the Go Fund Me page https://gofund.me/49f11497 which was started by Andre’s brother Michael Simon.