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Devon Smillie and a Collapsed Lung

Over 30,000 people follow Devon Smillie on Instagram. If you're reading this, there's a pretty good chance you're one of them. If you’re one of them, you should already be aware that Devon was recently locked up in the hospital for a few days with a collapsed lung. If you’re not one of them, this might be news to you.

We caught up with Devon to learn what exactly happened and see how he’s doing.

Photo by Francis Castro.

First and most importantly, how are you feeling right now?
Doing much better, but it still hurts to breathe deep a bit. It’s gettin’ better day by day.

What exactly happened?

I was messin’ with some new crankarm to ice combos on a flatbar at the new Vans park. A few tries in, when I went to pop into the ice, I just barely missed the peg and ended up landing directly on my ribs. It took the wind out of me real good. I just assumed I broke some ribs, so I shook it off and drove home. When I got home, my arm started going numb and I was still struggling to catch my breath. That’s when I decided to head to the hospital. Turns out I didn’t break anything, but I collapsed a lung and needed a chest tube inserted immediately to re-inflate it.

Do you know if it is normal to be stuck in the hospital this long with this injury? It seems like you were in there a long time…
They told me it would take two or three days in the hospital. Each morning they would give me an x-ray and tell me my lung was still leaking. Guess it took a while for the tear to heal up. Six days later, I was a free man.

Devon Smillie and a Collapsed Lung

Did you have to miss out on any big 4th of July plans?
Yeah. I was really looking forward to partying with the homies and riding bikes around downtown. But, I try to look at the bright side. Like, at least I didn’t get arrested, or at least I’m alive.

How long is this going to keep you off of your bike?

Doctor told me it’ll be about five or six weeks.

Do you anticipate missing and trips or contests for this?
I’ll be all healed up just in time to make it to Portland for the Dew Tour. So psyched. Can’t wait. I am bummed because I just started working on a new project, so that’s gonna be put on hold for a minute.

Are you rehabbing in California or headed home to Georgia?

I decided to stay here in California. It bums me out when I go back to visit Georgia and I can’t event ride with my friends.

Between this and your knee surgery last year, you’ve had some pretty unfortunate luck as of late. How do you stay positive while you’re off the bike?
This year’s been a rough one! But, it’ll all turn around eventually. It’s hard to stay positive when all you can think about is riding. But, I guess that’s what keeps you positive - thinking about how much fun it’s going to be when I can ride again!

Anything else you’d like to add?
I’LL BE BACK.

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