Hit-and-Run Victim Moves On, Without Anger

Bryan Joas of Eagan, MN, doesn’t think much about the hit-and-run driver who slammed into his bike from behind, just before sunset on March 8, 2016, sending him to the hospital for 90 days, with a broken back, hips and ribs, damaged lungs, liver, kidneys and intestines.

“There’s no reason to dwell on it and be mad about it, because I can’t change it,” Bryan said. “Finding out who hit me doesn’t help me recover any faster.”

Bryan said he believes his choice to move on, without anger, has helped him heal, and that his decision to let go of something he can’t control might even have put the healing of his mind and soul on a faster track than restoration of his physical health.

Back pain and abdominal issues persist for the husband and dad of two, including an infection that landed Bryan back in the hospital for a week, almost a year to the day after his homecoming.

“Recovery has been a very, very slow process. But at least it is moving forward,” Bryan said. “You just take it day by day, and whatever the issue of the day is, you get through that to get to the next day.”

Bryan got back on his bike for the first time about 7 months after the crash. He said at that point the bike saddle was more comfortable than walking.

Before the accident, Bryan typically rode 40 to 50 miles, three or four times a week. He commuted to work on his bike about 100 days a year.

In fact, he was headed home from his job at a software company when he was hit from behind by what is believed to be a silver or light-colored pickup with loud exhaust.

An $11,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the hit-and-run driver remains unclaimed.

Today, Bryan estimates he is at about 25% of his former biking capacity. “I’m just taking it very slow,” he said. “I’m not putting any pressure on myself that says, ‘I have to ride today.’”

Bryan and Shauna, with their kids, Griffin and Elyse.

In the meantime, Bryan and his wife, Shauna, and their kids, Griffin and Elyse, are focused on helping re-fill the blood bank that was essential in keeping Bryan alive.

And they hosted a Minnesota segment of the international Ride of Silence that honors and remembers those injured or killed while cycling.

Bryan’s demolished bike is still in his garage, surrounded by a year’s worth of the odds-and-ends every family accumulates.

Like the fuzzy first memories of his recovery, it takes a minute for Bryan to fish out the crumpled frame and wheels.

And that’s just fine. With his recovery—physical, mental and spiritual—on track, Bryan is moving at exactly the right speed.

Watch Bryan Joas’ Video

During his health journey, Bryan Joas used CaringBridge to update his family and friends and the Ways to Help section of his site to activate a GoFundMe campaign for financial support and the Planner to coordinate help.

Comments (12)

Post a Comment

Carol Graham Jun 24, 2018 9:52pm
Bryan you are an inspiration to others with your story and how you look at your accident. Praise God for your outlook. I pray God's continued touch in your life. May He bless you & your family beyond measure!!!
Geri Coggins Jun 23, 2018 9:43pm
Your faces say it all........keep those wonderful smiles!!!! God Bless❤️
Kathy Marquis Jun 23, 2018 12:37pm
Really a good story, promoting forgiveness, open mindedness, and kindness, we need more of this
Ginger Mac Donald Jun 22, 2018 3:08pm
I think differently today, after reading your accident, I realize I am very blessed to have paid the guy who restored a strand bike and did not get on it. I have been thinking all week to go not only to swim an hr. a day. But, add the exercise bike building up to an hr. a day. The Sr. gym, just get stronger without the risk. I know so many injured, in the gym from my pool experience. I continue to stay in the water for many reasons. It's a place where you too can build the muscles back around the areas that you will find, in time the most recovery with the least about of pain. Blessings
S Jun 22, 2018 12:46pm
Thanks for sharing this Ferris, we all need to be reminded to focus on the things we can change and let go of the things we can't.
Delores Nelson Jun 22, 2018 12:36pm
What a wonderful testament about your injuries. We should all learn from this, forgive and get going on the healing process. Continue as you are doing and soon you will be completely healed. God bless.
Patricia Kaiser Jun 22, 2018 11:48am
May the Lord's strength continue to move forward in joy and love! Blessings in abundance to you and your family....
Stephanie Jun 22, 2018 10:59am
This helped me to have hope and be patient with healing from depression. Awesome story.
Thomas Morofski Jun 22, 2018 9:51am
Brian, our Lord and Savior loves you, obviously! May today He continue to bless you and those you love with His richest blessings! "May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit." - Romans 15:13
pauline noviello Jun 22, 2018 8:47am
Dear Brian, Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's always heartening to hear how our Lord is working in our lives, and gives us His patience, strength, comfort and wisdom as He holds us in the palm of His hands. Praying for you and your family and your medical team. Thank you for the uplifting message today. Best wishes, Pauline
Dawn Huso Jun 22, 2018 8:43am
Brian Joas, you are an inspiration. Keep up your determination. Your wife and family are certainly fortunate to have you . . . . and you them.
Darlene Pham Sep 26, 2017 11:40am
Your beautiful family are blessed. You have a great heart, Bryan!