Thursday, June 3, 2010

Snowboarder vs. Two Trees

I put up a post to one of my x-rays on a few days ago asking if anyone else had hit a tree as hard as I did.

I didn't really expect anyone to say that they had. Not only was the answer, "yes," it was, "yes, and it was more than one tree."

Back in January 2009, Kevin was snowboarding near Alberta. He was ripping down a black and hit a flat light spot. Flat light usually occurs in an overcast. It's nearly impossible to get a good read on the slope in front of you because you don't see any shadows from the terrain. You just kind of have to feel it and react quickly.

The lighting caused him to misread his line and he lost control going about 45mph. He hit the first tree and bounced several feet into a second tree! He was impaled with a branch about 20cm, breaking his pelvis. He also broke at least four ribs, had a collapsed lung, and fractured his shoulder socket.

Unbelievably, he survived, though he did flatline during the Helivac to the hospital.

Here's a picture of the wound where he was impaled.

Shattered pelvis. He broke it in a non-weight bearing area near the top, so he lucked out there.

Here's a 3D CT scan of his shoulder socket break.

Screws to fix all of the broken pieces. I know how that goes.

He revisited the site of his accident one year later, just like I plan on doing. Unfortunately, he was in a car accident recently and that's caused some problems for him and his recovery. But the good news is he's going to return to snowboarding. That's the way it should be.

We're in an elite club of snowboarders that have hit at least one tree and lived to talk about it.

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