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Two friends land in hospital after bike accident, family raises funds to help


IDAHO FALLS — What was supposed to be a quick trip between two friends, turned into a lengthy ordeal involving injuries and hospitalization.

Now, family members are doing what they can to raise funds to help pay medical bills.

“It left me with a fractured skull, a brain bleed. It’s messed up my right eye and my right shoulder. My mouth has some issues. I have some memory issues that just come along with the concussion. My words don’t come easy,”
 said Ebony Gardner.

Ebony Gardner in the hospital in California after the bike incident. | Courtesy Ebony Gardner

The Firth resident told that she left on a weekend trip to California with her friend, ZoAnn Keck of Idaho Falls, earlier this month. The two have been friends for years and work together.

On June 10, Gardner said they had rented e-bikes on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, where they rode around a nature trail.

They were going to head back to Idaho Falls the next day but instead, something else happened that prevented them from coming home.

“The last thing I remember was heading on this paved path around this bay area. (Then) I can remember waking up to a lady kneeling over me, telling me not to move. My head was gushing blood. (I was) coming in and out of consciousness and (I was) taken to the hospital,” she said.

The events of what happened aren’t exactly clear, as Gardner and Keck don’t remember what happened. They both ended up at Orange County Global Medical Center. Their families have been told by hospital staff, that one of them crashed, causing them both to flip off of their bikes.

“ZoAnn — she’s a lot worse than I am. She has fractures in her skull, brain bleed, fractured jaw, she broke ribs but she’s having a lot harder time,” said Gardner.

ZoAnn Keck in the hospital in California. | Courtesy Ebony Gardner

Gardner said they were not wearing helmets and said she thinks everything may have ended up differently if they had.

“Always, always, just please put on a helmet. It may seem like a silly thing to do, but do it for your safety and the safety of others, just put a helmet on,” Gardner said.

Gardner has since been let out from the hospital and is back at home, while Keck remains in the hospital in California.

“My mom is a very tough person. She never slows down. To realize finally that your mom is hospital ridden in a bed…this is really serious because she never stays in the hospital. I won’t lie, it was pretty rough the first couple days,” said Tyrell Keck, ZoAnn’s son. reached out to Orange County Global Medical Center to learn more about Keck’s condition in the hospital.

“Ms. Keck is being treated for a head injury, is in stable condition, and is on a path to recovery,” said Jeff Corless, with Orange County Global Medical Center.

The GoFundMe Fundraiser

Tyrell said he’s not sure when his mom will be released from the hospital but there might be a long road to recovery for her and also Gardner.

“They are both looking at almost a year plus recovery. Ebony still has blurry vision. With my mom’s head injury, they (doctors) said there will more than likely be some lingering effects. If she does have a full recovery, it will be around at least a year just because the brain kind of takes it’s time to heal,” said Tyrell.

That’s why he has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for medical costs and any other needs for the two friends. Click here to go to the fundraiser.

“We just want to make sure that everybody is taken care of,” he said. “Any little bit helps. We appreciate everything that people are willing to offer. It goes a long way to helping our families.”

Gardner said she still hurts a lot from the injury but wishes she could take the pain away from her friend.

“It makes me so sad. She (ZoAnn) is literally one of the best people ever. We talk every day. I just pray that she is able to recover. I just wish I could take her pain away and it would just have affected me and not her,” she said in tears.

ZoAnn and Ebony
ZoAnn Keck and Ebony Gardner on their trip. | Courtesy Ebony Gardner

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.

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