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Thread: My Injury

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    398
    Boat
    '09 SAN210 / '04 22V/'01 21i

    My Injury

    Sept. 4, 2009, I'm at the lake with my son and 2 of his friends. They all take a set and now it is my turn. After an ok run for a 57 year old, I motioned for my son to do a final double-up. I hit it wrong and went up high, but horizontal and somehow my arm went thru the handle of the rope. An instant later the rope slack is gone and I am jerked around and the handle rips down my arm with enough force and pressure to cut into the arm down to the bone.

    I pop up in the water with an intense pain from my right side. Reaching over with my left hand, I can't find or feel my right arm- I thought it was severed off. A few seconds later it floats up and I see it is attached. But my bicep muscle, brachial muscle and artery are stripped from the arm. I see a stub of the artery sticking out and pumping blood into the air like crazy. At the same time I see a floating piece of my muscle and flesh in front of me and I hold that over the severed artery to control bleeding.

    My well-trained son doesn't power-turn and is idling back to pick me up. A couple of blood curdling screams gets his attention and he races back and jumps into the water with a friend. It seemed like forever getting my board off, and then help me get onto the platform and laying on the sundeck as I pass out. They call 911 and I come to a little later as they are racing to the dock. One kid has a death grip on my arm over the artery and another is trying hard to keep me conscious and keeping my feet elevated. Before we even get there, there is a Air-Evac helicopter overhead guiding us in.

    I spent the next 3 week in the hospital (half in ICU) and had 10 surgeries trying to repair the damage. They took a vein from my leg to replace the artery and saved my arm. There were two attempts to replace the bicep with other muscle but they both failed. One was taken from my side and the other from my calf or lower leg. The first skin graft to close up my arm also failed due to infection. I was told that I would probably never be able to raise my right arm/hand up to my face (I am left handed thankfully). After getting out of the hospital and waiting a couple of weeks until I had a little strength and the IVs and PICC line is out, I started physical therapy twice a week and am still going faithfully. I can use my arm and can bend my fingers about 90 degrees. I'm not giving up and hope to be able to make a fist with my right hand eventually.

    The unexpected challenge has been dealing with blood clots after the surgeries. I've had pulmonary embolisms and even another surgery to unblock a vein in my leg and install a filter and stint. But I have my life and am so grateful for good healthcare and wonderful people who have helped me. There are so many side stories and it is not all over yet either. And I had my first trip back to the lake last Friday. I will be boarding again soon- but will be acting much more like a 58 year old should. Sorry for being so wordy and long winded, but it has felt good to share and get this out. I hope nobody else ever goes through such a freak one in a million accident. I owe my life to my son and his 2 friends. They are all 25ish, eagle scouts and knew what to do without panicking- another good reason to have an observer or more people with you. And why when you have an accident like this does everyone ask if you are going to sell your boat- of course not! They don't understand the love for the water.

    This picture was probably taken a good month after getting out of the hospital when some of the staples were coming out. They thought it was looking great- ha! The red waffle looking area is the skin graft- and it is all better looking now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St. George, Utah
    Posts
    4,792
    Boat
    Malibu 247, 2005 24V, 2002 21V
    Glad to hear your recovery is coming along. Best wishes for speedy return of good strength and range of motion.

    I was thinking of TTIWWP, but maybe too many pics in this case would be a bit gruesome. HAHA.
    Be excellent to one another.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    At work, if I was at the lake I wouldn't be talking to you...
    Posts
    9,297
    Boat
    2005 24v
    OMG

    OMG

    OMG
    Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity. Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sacramento County, California
    Posts
    20,760
    Boat
    Boatless
    OMG!!!! I am glad you are getting better each day and glad to see that thing are okay now. Your son and his friends are hero's in my book

    I am sure talltigeguy is in the medical field and would probably enjoy more pictures but I think you have done a great job witht he pictures. Let's not display any more/worse pictures than you already have. I don't think i am going to eat dinner tonight. just kidding

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Golden, CO
    Posts
    84
    Boat
    '08 Z1 formerly '96 Pre2000WT
    Wow... You tried a double-up when you were 57...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Greenwood, SC
    Posts
    192
    Boat
    2009 RZ2
    we had an accident last year with a rider not letting go of the rope, tore 3 muscles in his arm, but nothing compared to what happened to you. thankfully your son and friends took good care of you, you are very lucky...
    I am in the medical field and the week before our accident, another kid was brought in who used a long rope to wakesurf, he wrapped the rope and it basically degloved most of his arm.
    Everytime we go out, we think about what could happen and remind everybody to let go of the rope.
    you gotta try wakesurfing but if you do, make sure you use a short rope and don't wrap it on your arm
    Godspeed on your recovery

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    45
    Boat
    2009 Tige Z1
    Hope to see you recovering so soon, glad to see the positive side in getting back to the lake. You should try Hydro Foiling.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Asheboro, NC
    Age
    50
    Posts
    27,002
    Boat
    formerly '01 Tige 22i R
    Paublo,
    Loss of words.....I've never seen an injury that bad from wakeboarding. I'm just glad you survived this accident and pray for your recovery.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Wyoming now, From Montana
    Age
    53
    Posts
    29,886
    Boat
    Current 2014 Z1 Former 2008 Z1
    WOW! Man you had some Angels with you that day! Your son and his friends are hero's! Good luck with your continuing recovery

  10. #10
    Wow, man other than someone getting hit by the prop I think that is the worst "boating" accident/injury I have ever seen. Gruesome to be sure but thanks for sharing. Hope your recovery continues and you are back on the water soon.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Thornton, CO
    Age
    40
    Posts
    10,923
    Boat
    '07 RZ2
    I would have passed out right there in the water! Glad you are recovering!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Riverview, FL
    Posts
    464
    Boat
    '12 Z3
    Man I can hardly bare to even look at the pic... Good to hear you are healing and in good spirits!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sturgis, KY
    Age
    33
    Posts
    7,243
    Boat
    2008 20V
    Keep your spirits up and get better.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Granbury, TX
    Age
    32
    Posts
    466
    Boat
    X-star minus the pickle
    Best wishes to a speedy recovery. That is crazy man. On the bright side you'll be able to tell the grandkids how BADA$$ you were on a wakeboard before the injury, and not have to prove it.
    How can I be racist when all of my assault rifles are black?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Northwest IL
    Age
    57
    Posts
    1,253
    Boat
    Was colorful 2007 now a landlubber
    Wow I am sorry to hear about your accident. It was a godsend that you son and friends reacted the way they did.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and hope for the best in the physical therapy you are undergoing. My daughter is in that field and since she became a therapist many of our have no fear water activities have decreased based on injuries she sees and helps people overcome.

    Best Wishes
    Jim
    Never Assume. You most likely are wrong.

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