It's been a challenging last few years for Meghan Harris.
In August of 2018, a group of 15 cyclists were hit by a truck on the Sherwood Park Freeway near the Anthony Henday. The woman behind the wheel was later fined for careless driving.
Some of the cyclists had to be taken to the hospital, with Harris being hurt the worst, as she was in the back and took the brunt of the hit.
"I needed a couple of surgeries, had some damage to my organs and my spinal cord, and so they had to monitor me for a little bit longer," she explained. "I broke like eight vertebrae in my spine, and I did have a bleed on my spinal cord. That led to some neurological damage. Those kinds of things, they never really heal 100 per cent."
Harris was in the University of Alberta Hospital for a month and then at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital for another four weeks. She was off work for about 18 months and had to do physio three times a week to relearn how to move and regain her strength.
Meghan Harris recovering in the hospital after being hit by a truck. Photo supplied.
While she still has some lingering problems that won't fully heal, she is back to working and doing activities she loves, like cycling.
"I was set up and very privileged in terms of supports, and so I think that that played a huge role in being able to recover to the extent that I have because I had a lot of resources at my disposal," added Harris. "It could have been a very different, a very different story, but I'm yeah I'm I'm happy and thankful for, you know, the support that I've had from the hospital and then from just the community and friends that I have."
She herself is an occupational therapist that works in the rehab and healthcare world. Harris was even hired as a staff member at the hospital a while after she left and can now see the difference it makes.
"I feel like I've always been a pretty empathetic person, but having navigated the healthcare system and having to go through the experience that I have gone through, I have an even greater understanding and respect for the families and the people that I work for."
On Saturday (Sept.11), Harris and her team, called "Mighty Meghan", participated in the annual Courage Ride for Rehab. It is a 58.5 km ride around Pigeon Lake which raises money for the Glenrose.
About 160 cyclists participated in the ride this year, raising about $80,000.