John O’Malley ’87, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Retired, is recovering from injuries he sustained in an accident while riding in an ultra-distance cycling race and raising money for a University memorial scholarship honoring his brother.
After riding for more than a month in the Tour Divide, a 2,745-mile cycling race from Alberta, Canada, to New Mexico, in support of the fourth Ryan O’Malley Annual Ride (ROAR), a fundraiser for the Ryan T. O’Malley ’99 Memorial Scholarship at the University, O’Malley was involved in an accident near Silver City, New Mexico, about 125 miles from the race’s finish line in the early morning hours of July 15. According to the O’Malley family, John was found by two motorists who spotted him on the side of the road and alerted the police.
According to a GoFundMe page set up by Katie O’Malley, John’s daughter, to help with their family’s medical expenses, “John was airlifted from the scene in New Mexico and taken to an intensive care unit/trauma center in El Paso, Texas.
“We have since learned that he has endured a traumatic brain injury.”
Although John can’t recall the events surrounding the accident, he publicly thanked the Silver City police officers who assisted him in a Facebook post dated July 26.
“I am most grateful for their decisiveness and professionalism as a CT scan revealed a subdural hematoma,” he wrote. “I still have no idea how nor when I sustained these injuries.
“At this point, I’m heartbroken that I didn’t finish the race, but happy to be under great care (with) a great prognosis to return soon and get ‘er done! The silver lining to all of this is that we raised over 12k for the Ryan T. O’Malley Memorial Scholarship fund at The University of Scranton allowing students in need the opportunity to get a college education.”
According to John “Jack” O’Malley, Ph.D. ’64, professor of psychology emeritus at the University and John’s father, John was transferred from the University Medical Center of El Paso to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Colorado Springs July 27, and he was released to his home in Monument, Colorado July 30, where he will continue outpatient physical therapy.
“His recovery has been remarkable!” Dr. O’Malley said. “Everyone has been so kind, and we deeply appreciate the caring and prayers.”
According to several recent Facebook posts and comments made by John and his circle of friends, he remains an inspiration to many, and he plans to dedicate himself fully to healing and recovering until he’s ready to race again.
“I’m headed back to Silver City to finish this baby!” he wrote in a Facebook comment July 30.