Updated: Sept. 13 2012
Melissa Garvin, 35, (who goes by Mel) has been riding motorcycles since 2005. She believes a guardian angle and God were on her side the day of her bike accident Aug. 14, 2012.
Mel told Carlsbad Patch in an email, "I just started wearing a full face helmet three days before my accident. I use to think they looked stupid and didn't even like wearing a helmet, so I would wear the smallest one possible. If I hadn't been wearing a full face helmet that night, I would be dead or have no face. So, if you ride a motorcycle, wear a full face helmet."
Fortunately, her friend Chops was wearing a full face helmet that day too.
They had set out for a ride along Coast Highway in Carlsbad. According to mutual friend Rich Flores who also goes by Rich the Stitch, during the motorcycle ride, a car pulled out in front of Mel causing her to go over the bar and hit the car.
Chops was ahead of her and didn’t know she was in an accident until he called his friends to find out where they were when he arrived at the destination they were supposed to meet at, said Flores.
Chops then rode back to find his friend, but the way back, Flores said he got in a wreck and was run over. “His jeans were completely torn off,” said Flores.
Mel’s injuries included four broken ribs, a lacerated liver, bruises and road rash.
Chops who sustained the worst injuries remains hospitalized in Scripps La Jolla recovering from a compound fractured tibia and fibia, broken femur, ruptured bladder, shattered pelvis, multiple breaks in his arm, hand and fingers, a large gash in one leg, and skin grafts needed on his entire back. His face and head were protected since he was wearing a full face helmet.
A fundraiser was held at the Sept. 1 to help pay for Mel and Chops' medical bills. "I can't work until at least Sept. 29th, and Chops is going to be recovering for quite a long time. Anything helps," said Mel who is an employee at .
The fundraising , which featured live music, a raffle and silent auction with items donated by local businesses, raised around $5,000.
"I am so blessed to have such great people in my life. I woke up in intensive care, and they were already planning the benefit. It was amazing," said Mel.