"The doctor said to me ... 'Your helmet looks like this so your head doesn't have to.'"
NBC News' Stephanie Gosk is detailing a horrific bike accident she got into last month.
The 50-year-old journalist recalled the crash in an essay for Today.com, which was published on Wednesday. In the essay, Gosk opened up about the incident, her "gruesome" injuries, the fallout, and, most importantly, how her helmet prevented her from becoming more seriously injured.
Gosk, an NBC News correspondent, began her essay by sharing that she got into cycling during the pandemic, and joined the New York Cycle Club. Gosk said, "after a cold and snowy winter, I was thrilled to get back out there this spring." And, so she decided to sign up for her "first ride" last month: a 65-mile ride "with about 50" other bikers.
"Overly eager that morning, I took off with the lead group," Gosk wrote, recalling the ride. "I had no business riding with them. By the time we hit eight miles, I was getting dropped."
"It was in that moment, tearing down a hill, looking at the riders up ahead and not paying attention to the road, that I hit it — a pothole grabbed the front wheel and threw the bike, with me on it, down hard," she continued. "I slid along the pavement. My head hit and my face dragged."
Gosk said she "crashed in front of a house in suburban New Jersey," noting that the owners of the home "thankfully saw the whole thing and called 911."
"Tenafly police officers got there fast, followed by an ambulance," she recalled. "The scene was grim. My face was a mess and so were my hands. My helmet was cracked clear through in two different places."
Gosk added, "When I got to the emergency room the doctor said to me in the kind of casual tone you would expect from a guy who sees dozens of people like me over the course of the biking season 'Your helmet looks like this so your head doesn't have to.'"
While Gosk said her "injuries looked gruesome," she stressed that what was "most important is what didn't happen" to her because of her helmet.
"I didn't break any bones," she wrote. "I didn't lose any teeth. I didn't get a concussion. That's the big one. The helmet did its job."
Gosk went on to detail her injuries, revealing that she had to get "nine stitches above my left eye and three in my left hand." In addition, she "needed surgery" on her thumb. "I looked like a prize fighter for a couple weeks," she quipped.
While sharing her story on Wednesday's episode of "TODAY," Gosk went to get her bike from the police station. An officer said to her: "At the speed you were going, and the tumble — it's a good thing for helmets and it's a good thing you had some luck on your side."
During the segment, Gosk discussed the importance of wearing a helmet, sharing statistics about helmet safety, such as the fact that they "reduce odds of head injury by 50%."
Despite her accident, Gosk said she "hope[s] to be riding again by the summer."
When asked by "Today's" Hoda Kotb, if she's "scared" to get back in the saddle again, Gosk said, "I should probably be scared, [her daughter] Harper said to me, 'Maybe you should do Peloton, Mommy.'"
"She's got more wisdom than her years," Gosk added. "But I will be back on, I love it too much."
Ultimately, Gosk shared that she feels "extraordinarily lucky" not to have been more severely injured, again highlighting the "multiple" cracks in her helmet.
See more in the clip, above, and read Gosk's essay in full, here.