Moped dealers like to look at the numbers this way: Of the thousands of people who rent mopeds every season, only a few end up crashing.

But take a closer look at one crash from last summer, and the numbers are suddenly far less comforting.

It's been nearly 10 months since Barnard and Judy Lorence came to Oak Bluffs for the day and rented a moped. Hours later, a Buick sideswiped them, and Mr. Lorence found himself lying on the side of the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road, a priority one ambulance call with severe head injuries.

Mrs. Lorence, a middle school math teacher who had to quit her job to care for her husband, can recite all the numbers now:

* Three weeks in intensive care at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

* Eleven weeks at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

* Five weeks at The Greenery, a sub-acute rehab center in Middleboro.

* More than $300,000 in outstanding medical bills.

* Nine separate prescriptions for drugs to treat complications from the brain injury.

* Three hours a day spent on stretching and exercising muscles.

It wasn't until after Thanksgiving that the Lorences and their daughter, now eight years old, could return to their home in Jensen Beach, Fla. Then, there were daily three-hour round trips to another rehabilitation center - until the medical insurance ran out. Now, the physical therapy happens at home.

On Wednesday, Mr. Lorence will turn 61. He can walk now, but not without aid of a walker or a quad-cane. His speech is no longer slurred, but Mrs. Lorence says he has to concentrate before he attempts any physical task.

"Picture a man who was very sure of himself, who did stuff all the time. He always worked on cars," says his wife. "Now, you wake up, and he can't even get out of bed. He's thinking about, ‘I have to grab a walker.' Everything has to be thought through before he does it."

Mr. Lorence was also a teacher before the accident. He'd left a career in the computer industry to teach geography.

Neither of the Lorences has worked since the accident on July 12. They are getting by on Social Security disability payments. There are liens on their house, and Mrs. Lorence is hoping she can go back to the classroom next fall on a trial basis.

"Financially, it's been devastating," she says.

Their lawyer, Bryson Cloon, of Leawood, Kan., says the driver of the car that hit the Lorences - Mary Larsen of Chilmark - was "tremendously underinsured." Mr. Cloon is considering filing a lawsuit against the dealer who rented the Lorences a moped.

"They were operating without a license and in violation of ordinances approved by the Oak Bluffs selectmen," says Mr. Cloon. "And the rear view mirror was loose and dangling, affording Mr. Lorence no way to see the traffic behind him."

In fact, the dealership, Two Wheel Traveler, had no valid license to operate for much of last season, but selectmen have been reluctant to close down the moped shops even when many have failed to obtain operating licenses from the town.

But Mrs. Lorence is not thinking about potential court fights and lawsuits. She wishes that the driver would call and at least say "I'm sorry," and she wishes there was some way to get mopeds off the Island.

But the hardest thing for Mrs. Lorence has been dealing with the personality that has emerged as a result of her husband's brain injury. It's taken a toll.

"My mind is so jumbled up because there's so much emotional turmoil," she says. "He's improving but there are personality changes that aren't so wonderful. Anger was a big one, and I'm told it's common that the loved ones get the brunt."

The change has been hard on their daughter, Dynelle. "Before, her daddy did discipline her, but he didn't yell at her," she says. "She's a mature eight-year-old, but she asks me, ‘Why did God let this happen?' I hear that over and over."

Life, as they all knew it, says Mrs. Lorence, "was just kind of snatched away."

They all receive counseling to help cope with the stress. "It's been very draining," she says.

But a strong Christian faith has helped her the most. "If it wasn't for that, I would have gone into an insane asylum," she says. "I've come to terms with it. I'm very committed to Barney and his recovery."