Rebecca Dyok

Rebecca Dyok

Reporter grateful for community support

When Rebecca Dyok was seriously injured in a bicycling accident last July she never anticipated that Williams Lake would rally.

When radio news reporter Rebecca Dyok was seriously injured in a bicycling accident last July she never anticipated that Williams Lake would rally to support her.

On July 24, she was riding her bike down Cameron Street toward Mackenzie Avenue and couldn’t stop.  At the last minute she tried to avoid a pickup truck pulling a fifth wheel, and got caught up in the fifth wheel.

“It was really unbelievable,” Dyok told the Tribune. “There were times with my job when I wondered if I was that good of a reporter and honestly didn’t think the community would care about me the way it did.”

Take for example Caroline and Terry Chupa who organized an extreme tactical ladies shoot day at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association gun range in September to raise funds for Dyok even though they had never met her in person

“It felt really heartwarming what they did,” she said of the Chupas’ efforts, noting after she was discharged from the hospital on Oct. 23 she was able to finally thank them in person.

Dyok said she also wants to personally thank RCMP Cpl. Jeremy Roberts who was on scene and acted quickly with a tourniquet to stop her leg from bleeding.

“He had just finished taking some training before my incident and used the skills he learned,” she said. “That was really something and shocking to realize in a few seconds your life can be changed.”

Many people she met while staying at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops inspired her, she added.

“There was a guy named Will who was only 21 and ended up as a quadriplegic and had been in the hospital since January up until I got discharged,” she said. “His attitude and outlook on life was pretty special. He was waiting for his house to get renovated to be wheelchair accessible.”

She doesn’t remember the incident itself, she said.

“That day is just bits and pieces and I don’t even remember getting on the bike.

“I remember thinking ‘I can’t stop, I can’t stop,’ and everything went black.”

It was even more upsetting to learn from the RCMP that the brakes on her bike hadn’t failed, she said.

When she woke up in the hospital, her mom Lorna and her sisters Jessica were there and RCMP Staff Sgt. Del Byron from Williams Lake.

“I couldn’t believe Del was there but he told me he was in Kamloops already and wanted to stop by. Even the paramedics came to see me.”

Cariboo Regional District chair Al Richmond visited her as well, she said.

While in the hospital she underwent several surgeries and skin grafts to save her leg and repair a broken jaw.

“It was day-to-day whether I would have my leg or not.”

Because her leg was so heavily damaged she now has to be monitored regularly in case her artery is scarred.

“It can scar so much that it will literally constrict blood flow and if that happens the surgeon said there are options to install some sort of balloons and go on blood thinners,” she said. “But so far so good.”

She is wearing a brace on her leg and hopes to get a custom-made one in the future.

In November, she was determined to go back and volunteer walking dogs at the BCSPCA, something she had been doing prior to the crash.

“I went down one Sunday and I met that dog Max who was shot with a pellet gun and lost his leg,” Dyok said. “He was just a dog but he was so happy and you couldn’t stop him.”

Dyok returned to work full time at the Goat FM in the middle of December and changed her on-air name to Rebecca Kelly.

“I just really wanted to be different,” she said of why she changed her name. “I feel like almost a new person by having done it. A new and better person. I used to hold onto things so much but that old me is long time gone now and I just wanted that to be reflected in my work. It’s time to take each day one day at a time and start living.”