EDGERTON, Wis. - If you didn't know his story, you might peg Ryan Suchanek as a typical motorcycle enthusiast.
The daredevil does stunt riding regularly and started running the Bargain Barn motorcycle shop in Edgerton.
It's his bike that had him close to death, but Suchanek can't seem to shake his passion.
"I don't associate motorcycles with getting hurt," Suchanek said.
Until five years ago, when Suchanek was cruising Bowers Lake Road in Milton when he turned a corner and collided with a woman's windshield.
His femur was broken, and he was so disoriented that he doesn't quite remember what he did in those moments.16888674
One thing Suchanek is sure of: he was losing enough blood to see the end of his life, until an unexpected driver missed a few turns on the way to a golf game (or so Suchanek believes).
"Came across me laying in the middle of the road, and luckily, he didn't find his turn off," Suchanek said.
The man dialed 911 and wrapped his leg in his own belt before Suchanek was flown to the hospital. That man apparently left his name and number, but they seemed to be made up.
"My wife thinks it was a guardian angel," Suchanek said. "That's what she's, she definitely thinks that."
Suchanek now sports a prosthetic leg and wears his "angel"'s belt as a good luck charm. He has posted a picture of the belt on Facebook along with a caption explaining how it helped save his life, and how he'd like to meet the man who owned it.
"I owe the guy dinner. You know, he saved my life," Suchanek said.
Suchanek also credits his helmet for saving his life. He shows it off to people who come into the store expecting to walk out without head protection. The scratch marks and blood stains are usually enough to convince riders to get proper head protection.
The American Red Cross works to prepare people for unexpected medical emergencies, trying to make sure everyone can respond to those situations.
Tom Mooney, CEO for the western Wisconsin region of the American Red Cross, recommends at least a basic training in first aid and encourages people to keep a first aid kit in their car at all times.
On top of that, the American Red Cross just released a smartphone app that details appropriate treatment for medical emergencies, so even people without training can react in an appropriate way.
"The big thing is preparing people so they feel empowered to move and actually get involved," Mooney said. "That's the big thing."
While it's no more street stunts for Suchanek, his philosophy is now to live life to the fullest, whether that's on or off of his motorcycles.
"I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid of missing out on life after I die," Suchanek said.
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