On Oct. 25, 2007, Jim Godfrey was traveling south on Highway 281 on his Harley Davidson. At the same time, a deer was attempting to cross the highway. Godfrey noticed the deer to his right and was prepared for it to jump in front of him, when another came across the road from the left.
Godfrey had no time to react.
The motorcycle and the deer collided at a rapid speed and the collision sent Godfrey skidding to the road.
“I was wearing my helmet that day. I didn’t usually wear the full helmet, usually only a skullcap, but that day it was cold. I was wearing my full leathers too,” Godfrey said.
The crash happened so fast that Godfrey only remembers “bits and pieces.” Immediately after the accident, Godfrey was attended to by a doctor who was traveling behind him.
“Dr. Dwayne Shaffer was right behind me and knew by looking at a bare spot on my leg that I was diabetic. He stopped others from giving me some medicine that probably would have killed me,” Godfrey said.
Godfrey suffered a litany of injuries including internal bruising, broken ribs and fingers and bleeding on the left side of his brain. He was transported by air to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma.
“Doctors said that I couldn’t have dealt with the pain,” he explained.
After four weeks in the coma, Godfrey began his long journey back to independence. After three months in the hospital, Godfrey was transferred to a rehab facility where he worked on rebuilding muscle strength.
“Rehab was really hard, but it was something that had to get done. The people there were so good to me, they treated me like I was their father or something,” Godfrey said.
Godfrey and his family, who own Comet Cleaners, say they are thankful for the support and prayers of their friends and customers. Although Godfrey still tires quickly, he is able to drive and do most daily activities.
The accident, he said, changed his view on life and its finality.
“I realized how short life can be and how people really need to enjoy it, because you never know when it’s going to be over,” Godfrey said.