I hope that this very sad case will convince people that mountain
biking should be banned EVERYWHERE. Trails are not designed to be
predictable, and never will be, making mountain biking inherently
dangerous. No amount of "fun" will compensate for this!
Family, friends seek help for Piedmont woman injured in bike ride
By J.M. Brown
Posted: 09/24/2009 10:33:12 AM PDT
Updated: 09/24/2009 11:49:32 AM PDT
Friends of a Piedmont woman who suffered a brain injury during a
cycling accident last month are asking for the public's help in
raising funds for her family.
Adriana Ospina, 37, a labor and delivery nurse at Oakland's Alta Bates
Summit Medical Center, was ejected from her mountain bike on a trail
below Mount Tamalpais on Aug. 30 after a long ride with friends. In
addition to the brain injury, Ospina is being treated at Marin General
Hospital for a broken collarbone and shoulder blade.
Ospina was in a coma for 19 days until Sept. 18, when she finally
began to respond to voices and spoke slightly. Relatives anticipate
she will need costly rehabilitation after she fully regains
Loved ones keep a constant vigil at her bedside. More than 430 people
have joined a Facebook page designed to keep people up to date on her
Friends also have set up a trust fund to help Ospina's family cover
extensive medical bills, as well as their own expenses. The outpouring
of support already has been more than the family could have imagined.
"I never thought this many people would come," said sister Luzangela
Ospina, 34. "For a couple of days at the hospital, we were like, 'Oh
my God, who are all these people?'"‰"
Ospina's parents, Octavio and Myriam, were born in Colombia and moved
to New Jersey before arriving in California 20 years ago. The couple
raised their two daughters in Oakland and San Leandro before retiring
and buying a home in Stockton. Adriana has been helping to support her
parents financially, her sister said.
"They are supposed to be enjoying retirement, and this throws
everything off," Luzangela Ospina said. "We're a nervous wreck.
Anytime the doctor comes near you, you get high blood pressure."
Ospina has lived in Piedmont for about two years and has been a nurse
for 15 years, her sister said. As a registered labor and delivery
nurse, she works one-on-one with expectant mothers all the way through
the birthing process.
"Half of the kids born in Piedmont, she was assigned to their
mothers," said friend Adeline Wood, who added that Ospina is an
Besides mountain biking, Ospina is an open water swimmer with the
South End Rowing Club in San Francisco, where she has competed in the
International Alcatraz Triathlon.
Last year she climbed Half Dome at Yosemite to commemorate a friend's
birthday and has also biked the snow sheds at Donner Summit with
"She is like a daughter to me," said Wood, a mountain biker who is
working to plan fundraising events for Ospina.
Water World Swims and the South End Rowing Club raised about $6,000
during a recent swim event for Ospina. A group of about 100 met at
sunrise, said a prayer for Ospina and swam the 2.5 miles from Alcatraz
Island to the shore in San Francisco, Wood said.
No one is exactly sure what caused Ospina's accident. Wood said a
large group of riders was coming down a coastal trail from a Sunday
morning ride on Mount Tamalpais when they realized Ospina didn't come
in with them.
Riders went back up the trail and found her lying on the ground about
20 feet from her bike. She was wearing a helmet and protective pads
for her shoulders and shins, but the fall was too severe to avoid
"It's a fluke accident that can happen to any of us," Wood said.
Fellow riders, some who are in the medical field, attended to her
immediately as 911 was called, Wood said. An ambulance arrived shortly
and took to Ospina to Marin General, where she underwent surgery to
address the brain injury.
Ospina's doctors have only told the family that "it is just going to
take a recovery process," her sister said. "They say only time will
HOW TO HELP Donations to Adriana Ospina's family can be made payable
to the Adriana Ospina Trust, Wells Fargo Bank, 151 40th St., Oakland,
CA, 94611. Keep up to date on Ospina's progress and fundraising events
by visiting www.caringbridge.org/visit/adrianaospina
or the Facebook
page called "Family and Friends Praying for Adriana Ospina."