Greetings from Ohio!
Many of you are aware that I was undertaking a three-month run across the United States of America, a very serious ultra-marathon run from Los Angeles to New York.
On August 2, 2017, after running 3,941 kms, my dream to run from Los Angeles and New York to raise awareness of a lung disease known as pulmonary fibrosis came to an abrupt halt. I had three weeks left to run 922 kms to New York. At 8:30 that Wednesday morning, I was deliberately hit by a pickup truck when running on the shoulder of Highway US 40 approximately 20 miles west of Columbus, Ohio. The vehicle did not stop and the driver is yet to be found. The accident was widely covered in the media, such as on 10TV, the New Zealand Weekend Herald and ABC6.
Miraculously, I was speaking to my wife, Sarah, on Skype at the time of the accident and she was able to alert my support crew and get the emergency help I needed. I was left with a perforated bowel, and compound fractures to my leg and pelvis. The doctors told me that I am very lucky to be alive. I have undergone five major surgeries to date and my rehabilitation will take about five months.
I wanted this run to “inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things and to never be afraid to dream big.” Despite the accident and the life-changing injuries I have incurred, I am still determined to continue my fundraising and raise awareness for pulmonary fibrosis. However, my first task will be to learn to walk again. I am so grateful to my wife and family for their love and support. And to my friends and colleagues at American University of Sharjah—Thank You. I have so many emails from AUS students wishing me a speedy recovery. I look forward to returning to AUS after my healing.
Dr. Nicholas Ashill is a Professor of Marketing and the Chalhoub Group professor of Luxury Brand Management at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah.