Man Beats Odds, Gets Back On Bike


Sunday, April 20th 2008, 6:47 pm
By: News On 6


A Bartlesville man beat the odds after a horrific motorcycle crash left him in a coma.  He not only made a remarkable recovery, now he's back on the bike.

The News On 6's Jeffrey Smith reports Gary McManus has lost some of his hearing, his vision and his senses of smell and taste since the crash.  But he's alive and that's something doctors told him was a long shot.

His wife didn't survive the crash.  As Gary tells The News On 6, his wife is the reason behind his miraculous recovery.

If you stared down death after a bike crash, could you get back on?

Gary McManus says a doctor told him he was there when he was taken into the emergency room and didn't think McManus would survive.

Gary McManus and his wife Jill crashed their motorcycle in December.  They were participating in a Toys-for-Tots bike run when a car pulled in front of them on Highway 75. Jill didn't survive and it didn't look good for Gary.

"They had planned on, and even in fact cleared it with the insurance, to keep me there for six months," said McManus.

He was in a coma for almost a month.  But he made a miraculous recovery.  He's out of the hospital and has decided to ride again.

"What would she tell you to do? And I said, well, she'd tell me to get off my keister, and get out there, and get me another motorcycle and get on with life," said McManus.

Gary's still has some hearing and vision loss.  But he misses Jill the most.

"We cuddled up on the couch, we'd watch a movie, or a TV program, and just talk about the day's events, and I miss that. That closeness," said McManus.

He's new to the bike, but says it helps.

"Cause she loved to ride. She, that was one of her favorite things, was, just to go riding on it," said McManus.

And the best way remember the driving force behind his recovery, is to keep on driving.

"I keep thinking that she's with me on this bike, I keep feeling like she's with me," said McManus.

Before the crash both Gary and Jill McManus were active in the Christian Motorcycle Association, which is a ministry for bikers.

Since recovering from the coma Gary has become an ordained minister and says he's continuing the work in honor of his wife.