Ivan Cisneros: “I want others to understand that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.”

By: Alex Miller

There was a body on the ground, blood everywhere, a car with a broken windshield, and glass all over the road. I didn’t see any police, ambulance, or firetrucks yet, so the accident must have just happened. I was hoping the person wasn’t hurt too badly. A couple of hours later I found out it was one of my classmates, Ivan Cisneros. I was shocked.

This was almost a year ago, on July 21st, 2020. Ivan, 15, was about to be a freshman in Salisbury High School hoping to play football and basketball. Ivan said the only thing he remembers was “taking a group picture with my friends, and then it all went dark.” This changed all of his future plans which made him realize a very valuable lesson.

On the day of the crash, after Ivan was done hanging out with his friends, he left to go home. His friend crossed Lehigh Street to get to the South Mall parking lot. Ivan got held back on the other side because there were more cars driving by. Ivan took his chance to cross the street. His friend then looked back after hearing a crash and saw Ivan’s bike flying.

In an interview with Ivan, he informed me that his friend almost got hit by the car too. Ivan doesn’t have any memory of what happened. People just kept telling him that he was in and out of consciousness. The only thing he remembers after being hit “was being strapped down tightly to a stretcher, asking my mom what happened, and then it went dark again.”

There was a possibility he could have been paralyzed from the neck down or he could’ve been killed. “I hit the car so hard that I shattered the windshield and broke the dashboard.” He ended up with an orbital fracture, a severe concussion, stitches, road burns, and badly bruised legs but there were no broken bones. 

“These injuries may not seem like a lot, but I spent two days in the hospital without moving my legs and arms,” stated Ivan. “I had to be spoon-fed my first two days in the hospital. Nights in the hospital had to be the worst. I barely slept, felt restless, and alone. Even now, I struggle to sleep thinking about my accident. I have road burns on my body that remind me every day of what happened to me.”

Even through all the negatives, there were some positives. Ivan believes that his grandfather was watching over him that day. “He is the reason I am still alive and healthy with no permanent injuries.” The doctors also told him he shouldn’t play football, but he is planning on playing basketball next season.

Despite what could’ve happened, Ivan has a positive perspective from this experience. “One valuable lesson that still crosses my mind is to make every moment count. Almost a year after my accident, I’d say I’m doing better than ever. My experience isn’t easy to talk about, but I want others to understand that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.”