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I began riding when I bought a Rupp mini bike some 30 yrs ago. Move up to the Yamaha dirt bikes and on to my first HD in 1980. Road several yrs until my first accident when a drunk driver pulled out in front of me. Believe it or not he was pulling out of the fire department/police station parking lot at the time. Talk about quick response from medical personnel. I was thrown over the car, (no helmet) and escaped with a few broken bones. It was broad day light so drunks just don’t drive at night. Lesson learned;
Always-always watch out for the other person. Six months later I got back on the saddle to reassure myself that riding was for me.

I ended up taking 7 yrs off, concentrating on the job which moved me state to state, RI, MA, TN and MS. In 1987 I purchased another FLH and began riding again. Felt great and the wife loved it. Rode a few more yrs and transferred again this time to PA. Bike went too when the house was sold.

In late 95 when the craze hit the HD scene I ordered another bike. Waiting list was a year or more. Exciting about the new ride arriving shortly I prepared. But on June 23rd, 1996 I was near death, actually died twice in the hospital. The diagnosis, Stevens Johnson Syndrome. What is that? Basically it is an allergic reaction to medication. I had taken Daypro for tendonitis of the elbow prescribed by my doctor. The end result, 3 months in intensive care, 2 months in rehab, burnt internally first, blind for 2 yrs, lost 100% of my body hair, 100% of my skin, all my mucous membranes, paralyzed left arm and hand. These are some of the issue that affected me. I have regained full motion in the arm and hand, skin has grown but I’m left with many scares. The eyes are the biggest concern. I’m still blind in the left eye but the doctors have been able to regain the vision in the right eye to a 20/40 state with the use of the Boston Scleral Lens. These are very special lens only made by 2 doctors in the world who happen to be in Boston. I’m on chemo for the rest of my life due to the ongoing eye issues. The chemo breaks down my immune system thus fighting off the reaction which continues to create mayhem in the eyes. Once the doctors were able to give me back enough vision I returned back to work. This time in a different capacity but never the less promoted and transferred to New Jersey in 1999.

In mid 2001 HD began building their new store in my hometown. Driving by daily drove me crazy and then finally the store opened just in time for Christmas. I walked in, viewed a few bikes then purchased my 3rd HD. The RK Classic will be a very special one for me.

I’ve been on 20/20, dateline and will be featured in a few more shows forthcoming. Should you care to view some hospital picture of me the link below will take you there? The first 3 are me. Warning….very graphic, so the choice is yours to view.

Since fishing gives me peace and pleasure to take my mind off my illness i thought of flycasterjoe would be an appropriate name.

http://members.aol.com/Rashsjsten/index.html


Joe
 

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Traveling Man
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1,272 Posts
Joe,I don't know quite what to say. I know you have posted here alot and I feel like I knew something about you. I saw a good man, good natured, fun loving, helpful, excellent attitude and it's been fun to read your posts. But I had no idea that you have been through the living hell that you have. I admire your attitude after going through all of that and it's a real pleasure to have you here with us. You are definitely an inspiration. Thanks Joe.
 

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Premium Member
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Hello Joe,

You, fine Sir are an inspiration to us all! By all means, look up! Never falter! You have something very special to be proud of. A spirit that many will never attain.

I'll never forget the simple words of wisdom that were given to me by a friend shortly after the tragic freak accident which took the life of my Father almost 17 years ago. "Once you begin feeling sorry for yourself, your all done!" Please don't ever fall prey to that grim outlook.

Your story moved me and caused some pretty emotional stirrings. Keep the faith and enjoy your life and all it has to offer. I can relate to the zen of fishing since I was fortunate enough to live my entire life along the banks of the East Branch of the Delaware and Beaverkill Rivers. The Harley lifestyle goes without saying.

An open invitation to fish some of the best trout streams and ride through some of the most beautiful country in the world is at your whim.

Thank you for sharing with us all. Take care and ride safe.

Mike
 

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wow joe...you do have the right attitude...that will defineately get you through this ordeal....stay strong brother...see you out there!
 

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Holy Cow! Were any of those pictures of you? Man I sure hope not that looks awful, god the pain you had to endure had to be unimaginable to the rest of us. Just like others have said glad you’re still with us, I for one never hear of Stevens Johnson Syndrome, wow.

Glad you are still with us, and thanks for sharing this with us, sure makes a lot of us appreciate what we may have taken for granted, and that is life and good health. After seeing this I realize my problems are really nothing. I sure hope you’ll be able to improve, good luck and best wishes.
 

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Joe,it's great to hear from you,thanks for the re-intro!

We need a few more old timers in here to keep all these new guys in line.

Looking forward to more of your posts,take care of yourself & don't be a stranger!
guido
 

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Thanks Joe for the story. Firstly, you are an inspiration to us all for the fight you've given and remain to have.(Considering what others have gone through, many of us have nothing to complain about) Secondly, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Corny saying, but is the truth. The fact of surviving and walking away with a smile gives testament to your spirit. A special one at that. Being in the medical field and looking at the pictures, I am aware of the pain you have gone through.(thank God for morphine) I wish you well in the future and a recovery to the fullest extent possible. God bless and thanks. J.T.
 

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Thank you FlycasterJOe

You are truly an inspiration. Having read your story and viewing the graphics it really puts things in perspective. Life can be both cruel and rewarding. I wish you the very best. Fishin and Ridin - not a bad combo.
 

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Flycasterjoe, What an incredible story, you truly are a gift from above and have been given a second chance in life! I too have a great love for fishing, I teach flyfishing and flytying classes here in my hometown for trout unlimited and the board of education, Theres nothing like throwing a pack rod in the saddlebag and heading out on the bike at daylight to enjoy a day casting for brown trout! If that wont take your mind off what you have been through, nothing will!! One day we will all be above on brand new 200horspepower Harleys and catching trout on every cast!
 

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EvilMonger
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How did I miss this, sorry Joe. I wish you all the luck in the world, enjoy your time here, fishing, and riding. And a big tasty TACO for you !!!
 

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Road Captain
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Hey Joe, thanks for sharing. Hopefully we all will take a look at what is important in life after reading this. Thanks and be blessed......
 

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Joe, I know you went through hell and it is not your fault, but I feel properly humbled enough to take a look at what good fortune I have in this life and appreciate it all the more. Thank you for helping me to look inside myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone for the kind words. The wife cannot believe the HD forum can write such kind words. She over here saying that you harley dudes are sensitive and in touch with your feeling. You give black leather a good name.

:cool:
 
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