Government

After bike crash, Fred Hubbell facing long road to recovery

NewsTrack: Catching Up On An Earlier Story

Fred Hubbell waves as he takes the stage with his wife, Charlotte, last June at the River Center in Des Moines after winning the Democratic primary for governor. Hubbell, who narrowly lost the November general election to Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, is slowly recovering from a February bicycle accident. “Every day, every other day, he is able to do something he hadn’t been able to do,” Charlotte Hubbell said. (The Gazette)
Fred Hubbell waves as he takes the stage with his wife, Charlotte, last June at the River Center in Des Moines after winning the Democratic primary for governor. Hubbell, who narrowly lost the November general election to Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, is slowly recovering from a February bicycle accident. “Every day, every other day, he is able to do something he hadn’t been able to do,” Charlotte Hubbell said. (The Gazette)

BACKGROUND

Fred Hubbell, the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor, was hit by a car while riding a bicycle earlier this year in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hubbell, who will be 68 this week, was riding in the bike lane of a Scottsdale street Feb. 15 when a driver failed to yield before making a right turn on a red light, his wife, Charlotte Hubbell, said.

The former Equitable Life Insurance Co. and Younkers executive spent more than two weeks in a hospital in Scottsdale, where the Hubbells own a home. He underwent multiple surgeries for a broken pelvis.

WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE

Two months after the collision, Hubbell is on a long road to recovery.

“Every day, every other day, he is able to do something he hadn’t been able to do,” Charlotte Hubbell said from the couple’s Des Moines home where the retired businessman is recuperating.

“That’s a positive,” she said, “but this will take time.”

In addition to the broken pelvis, Fred Hubbell also has a dislocated hip joint. He expects to learn in two to three weeks whether hip replacement surgery is needed. Because the damage is from a trauma-related injury rather than wear-and-tear, Charlotte said the surgery would be more complicated.

As a result of his injuries, Fred can’t put weight on his right leg and must use a walker to get around, which limits his activity.

“He’s bored,” Charlotte said, “but in spite of everything, I think he’s in good spirits. He still has his sense of humor.”

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He’s doing physical therapy at home and water therapy to regain his strength. He’s lost a lot of muscle — about 14 pounds, Charlotte said, and it will be another four to six months before Fred has the strength to be able to walk.

In the meantime, he’s responding to thousands of cards and letters from friends and supporters.

“I think just about everyone who voted for him sent ‘get well’ wishes,” Charlotte said, adding they are appreciative of those wishes, prayers and food.

“We’re beyond the point of needing food, but I appreciated being able to warm something up after spending the day at the hospital or rehab,” she said.

Fred is thinking about bicycling again, “but he’s rethinking his commitment to riding on all terrains,” Charlotte said. “He’s thinking he’ll stick to trails” rather than ride on city streets.

While the Hubbells are thankful the driver who struck Fred stopped and gave assistance, they hope drivers will be more aware of pedestrians and cyclists.

“Stop and look both ways before turning right on red,” Charlotte said.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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