OTTAWA - Matthew Ciarlo picked the right time to listen to his mom.
Getting the 13-year-old to keep his helmet on while skateboarding had been a struggle in the past, but on Oct. 10, the Kanata teenager put one on and kept it on.
It was a decision that saved his life.
That morning, Matthew was heading off to school -- he wanted to ride his bike, but couldn't find a lock. Running late, the skateboard would get him to class faster than walking.
He crossed the street near the intersection of Terry Fox Dr. and Huntsville Dr. in Kanata. He didn't see the Jeep coming until too late, said his mom, Trisha Ciarlo.
As if that wasn't scary enough, Matthew's mom saw the entire thing happen. She initially thought her son was dead but he regained consciousness and, despite severe injuries, had stable vital signs en route to hospital.
Matthew suffered fractures to both femurs -- including two breaks on the right side -- that required surgery as well as fractures to both sides of his jaw, a broken elbow and a bad concussion.
But on CHEO Saturday, Matthew was well on his way to recovering. His jaw will be wired shut for six weeks and it will be some time before he can walk. Trisa said she hopes he'll be walking by Christmas but there's no doubt in her son's mind.
"I will be walking by Christmas," Matthew said matter-of-factly.