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‘It changed my life’: Winnipeg cyclist who was pinned under SUV speaks out for the first time

Janice Naccarato is home and working on her recovery after being pinned under an SUV 6 months ago.
Janice Naccarato is home and working on her recovery after being pinned under an SUV 6 months ago. Provided

It’s been six months since Janice Naccarato was rushed to hospital after being pinned under an SUV.

Now the Winnipeg mom is speaking out about the crash that left her fighting for her life.

READ MORE: Cyclist who was pinned under SUV wakes up from 2 month coma

“It’s been very difficult for me. It changed my life,” Naccarato told Global News. “I’m so grateful to everybody for my survival. I was hit by a car and strangers I do not know lifted the car off of me.”

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On May 31, shortly after 7 a.m. Naccarato was pinned under an SUV at St. Mary’s Road and Fermor Avenue. The SUV could be seen in surveillance footage from a nearby business driving through the intersection, narrowly missing a van before slamming into a car.

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WATCH: Janice Naccarato thanks those who helped save her life

Winnipeg woman hit by vehicle while cycling speaks out about recovery
Winnipeg woman hit by vehicle while cycling speaks out about recovery

Witnesses who were nearby rushed to help.

“It speaks to the kindness of human life that people can jump to someone’s aid,” her son Jayce Naccarato said. “Given the quickness of everybody at the accident site and the fact paramedics were nearby, it really helped increase her chances of survival.”

Janice Naccarato spent two months in a coma after the crash.
Janice Naccarato spent two months in a coma after the crash. Provided

She spent the next 62 days in a coma while her family sat waiting for her to wake up.

“Within the first couple of weeks we really weren’t sure how this was going to turn out,” Jayce said. “There was a moderate chance from the neurological team that she wasn’t going to make it. It was harsh.”

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When Naccarato finally woke up in August she needed to have more surgery.

“She had surgery to put her skull cap back on her head after the coma,” Jayce said. “My mom is a very determinant woman and every single week she managed to get a little bit better and better.”

After months in the hospital, Naccarato was moved to a rehabilitation facility before finally being able to go home.

“She’s walking around on her own. Her legs are a little bit sore. They were injured in the accident,” Jayce said. “Recovery is exponentially better than anyone could have hoped for. She’s working on getting a little more muscle function in her hands.”

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Janice recovering at home.
Janice recovering at home. Provided
Janice and her daughter Taylor.
Janice and her daughter Taylor. Provided
Janice Naccarato with her husband.
Janice Naccarato with her husband. Provided

While she is home, there is still a long road to recovery and life is very different.

“I can’t work anymore,” Naccarato said. “I was a very independent, strong person before and now I’m not able to because of my injuries. But I’m working at it.”

READ MORE: Woman pinned by SUV alive in hospital, family searches for bystanders who rescued her

Her family said she doesn’t remember the crash and after she woke up from the coma they waited to tell her pieces of what happened.

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“She understood. She was obviously upset at the nature of the incident itself, as we all were,” Jayce said.

But as each day passes Naccarato is making continual emotional and physical progress.

“It was quite emotional for her,” Jayce said. “We got through it and supported her through tremendous amounts of love and patience. We are just incredibly happy she is alive.”

The Naccarato family said this Christmas will be filled with lots of love and extra thanks.

 

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