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Oklahoma City woman fights her way back from injuries

Debbie Wog was hit by an SUV while bicycling a year ago.
BY DEBRA WOODS Published: June 29, 2013

On June 30, 2012, Debbie Wog's world as she knew it came to a sudden halt.

She was riding along the shoulder of State Highway 7, training for the cycling portion of the Redman Triathlon, when a sport utility vehicle struck her from behind.

She heard the noise of the crash an instant before she registered that she was the one who had been struck. The moment she hit the pavement, the pain set in.

Members of a local Seventh-day Adventist Church who were coming out of services came to her aid and called 911. She was taken by ambulance to the Arbuckle Memorial Hospital in Sulphur and then flown to OU Medical Center.

Her injuries included three broken vertebrae, five broken ribs, a broken ankle and a collapsed left lung. Her helmet prevented serious head injuries.

She spent six days in the trauma unit, then was transferred to Integris Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center. After two days there she was allowed to go home.

“I was in good shape before the accident, which was a huge help, and I was extremely motivated. After the first physical therapy session, I could do pretty much everything they needed me to do to be released,” she said.

Wog began to take slow and painful walks through her neighborhood. Her broken ankle was encased in a medical boot, her torso encircled in a back brace.

“My mom lives only a few streets away from me so she would come over in the mornings and we would walk. At first, it was only a block or two, but in two weeks, we were over a mile and my mother struggled to keep up with me.”

As a wife, mother of a teenage son and daughter, a triathlete and a yoga and fitness instructor in south Oklahoma City, Wog was committed to doing whatever was necessary to resume her life.

She returned to her yoga studio about two weeks after she was released from the hospital.

“After a month, I could return to coaching some classes at the Earlywine YMCA. After two months, I was able to begin teaching again.”

She ran a 10k in the Kilgore Half race on Christmas Eve of 2012, six months after the accident.

“This was the furthest I'd run up to that point. My entire running community/support system was there to cheer me on and there were lots of tears.”

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