On June 12, 2011 Paul Livingston, an avid cyclist in the Los Angeles area, rode from Hollywood to the beach as he often did four or five times a week. On his way home, at approximately 6 pm he rode his bicycle through Beverly Hills. Just before City Hall on Santa Monica Boulevard., he was hit from behind by a car.
Paul Livingston (photo: Don Ward)
In that moment, Paul’s life flashed before his eyes as he remembers a LOUD crash, immediately thinking to himself, “Is this really happening to me right now?! Oh —-, this is really happening to me!” For the first twenty seconds, while lying alone on the cement, Paul couldn’t breathe. When he was finally able to take a breath, he realized he couldn’t move the lower portion of his body, but knew he needed to get off the street. Paul used his left arm to pull his torso up onto the curb as he heard a bystander saying, “The girl just took off!”
In that moment, realized the person who hit him was gone.
The last thing Paul remembers that day is being put on a stretcher before he woke up in a hospital bed six days later. He suffered spinal and pelvic fractures. His pelvic bone, broken in half and pushed upwards into his bladder had severed blood vessels causing him to bleed internally. When he was first admitted to the hospital he was hypotensive, which means his organs were shutting down with the lack of blood and his body was going into shock. Paul underwent three abdominal surgeries within the first two days just to stop the bleeding. On the fourth day, the doctors were able to fix his pelvis and then he went through spine surgery only to have pelvic surgery once again to get it back to its original position. Paul also suffered from post-operative infection from the abdominal surgeries. Finally, with his fever gone, he was healthy enough to have his spinal fusion – as a result, Paul is a bit shorter now.
“For the first time I was really excited because I was going to live and I was going to walk again,” Paul tells me as we sit outside his apartment on a sunny Loa Angeles day.
And with a smile, Paul tells me that after three painful months of rehabilitation, he was able to walk again… on his own.
I ask him about the person who hit him, self-identified as Victoria Chin. He tells me that during the time of his recuperation, he had been in touch with the Beverly Hills Police Department to find out what was going on with the woman who hit him and then ran. Apparently, they were dropping the ball on his case as they never even processed her car for evidence. And her explanation for not stopping, as given to the BHPD, “There was no place to park.” Read more…