COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A 21-year-old Phenix City man woke up from a coma on Wednesday after a skateboarding accident that almost claimed his life.
Anthony Claridy was hospitalized on July 5, and his mother Anna says he was not wearing a helmet at the time of his skateboarding accident. She says it is a miracle that her youngest son is still alive.
"I'm still scared to death of the skateboard but I mean maybe Anthony will make helmets cool," Anna said. "Maybe other kids will start wearing them."
Doctors rushed him into surgery immediately for injuries that included skull fractures. She made Anthony make one promise - that from now on when he's skateboarding, he will always wear a helmet.
But Anna's wish for her son's recovery is coming true true. Anthony sat up in his hospital bed on Wednesday.
"If you are going to skateboard, wear a helmet," Anthony said.
It's a message he wants to now send to all skateboarders, including his older brother. Anthony's mom says that one of her other sons used to skateboard without a helmet, but now this accident has changed their lives.
"The doctors brought us back there and they said it was a nonviable injury and that he would not survive. They were going to take him to surgery and do what they could but for me to be prepared that it was not, and they told me that for two days," Anna said.
According to Skatepark.org, there were 28 skateboarding-related fatalities in 2014, and 21 fatalities in 2013.
Local skateboarders at the Jonathon Hatcher Skateboard Park said it's up to the individual skateboarder whether they wear helmets or not.
"I mean it's just our choice to not wear helmets" says Gordon Blizzard.
Helmets are not the only safety measures experts recommend for safe skateboarding. Wrist guards, Knee pads, elbow pads, goggles, and closed shoes are all recommended.