Was wondering why I quit hearing from Jerry on my funny EMails
to him a month or so ago? Got this EMail from him on March
>Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2005 11:16 AM
> Hey guys
> Give me a call so I can relate exciting details of my recent
ski trip to
> Aspen which resulted in 13 broken bones --yes thirteen---
> and a chest full of blood, which included 5 weeks in the
> weeks in ICU on a ventilator) and 5 blood transfusions.
> Obviously too complicated for an email.
> Crippling Yours;
talked with Jerry for a good half hour last night and got the
details. We came very close to losing another South Shore High
School 1957 alumni!
was attending a week long doctor's conference in Aspen that ,of
course, involving lots of skiing days. Jerry is an expert
skier with 30 years of blasting down mountains. After a week
of fun and meetings - on Friday January 21st while skiing with
doctor friends at nearby Snowmass, Jerry crested a hill and 1
second later slammed into a short tree (the top of which was
hidden by the hill) at about 30 mph! Ala Sonny Bono and Michael
Kennedy. But........ Jerry survived - with horrible trauma.
took notes as we talked to relate to our class mates:
2. Four vertebrae tabs broke right off and now floating around
in his back.
3. Left humurous (big arm bone) broken and now with a 10" long
temporary steel pin the diameter of a ball point pen inside the
hollow of the bone. They weren't going to do that, but Jerry
insisted that they "nail" his arm (doctor talk).
4. 7 ribs broken. Sounds like 3 or 4 pieces of each rib totally
cracked apart and separated. His chest was crushed badly.
5. Broken hip.
6. By a miracle - NO head injuries.
I did some math as we talked. Hitting a solid object at 30 mph
is the same as a fall from 3 stories = 30 feet. IF the tree was
rigid and his body did all the deceleration to a stop in just 6
inches of squishing that means the average g's of deceleration
was 120! Probably more like 70 most of the way and 200 to 250
g's at the last bit of the crunch. All decelerated in just .160
Jerry said that Aspen is a fabulous trauma hospital where
doctors come from all over the world to learn techniques.
They had to sedate him a for two weeks and let him lay there
like a rag doll. A positive pressure ventilator fed oxygen to
his body via a tube down his mouth to his lungs. (Apparently
people who smoke would never had made it though that part of the
treatment alone. Smokers end up with lung infections from that
process that can kill them.) Anyway, Beth got to Aspen on
Sunday. After two weeks, they put still knocked out Jerry and
wife Beth on a special ambulance plane (twin engine 8 passenger
turboprop) with doctors, cardiologist, nurses etc. to get him
back to San Diego. $10,000 for a one way flight and he couldn't
even enjoy the scenery below!
Then 3 weeks more of sedation in San Diego. That is where they
finally discovered the hip was broken and had to do yet one more
operation. Jerry got home 3 weeks ago. This past Friday was 2
months since the wipe out.
Jerry was happy to say that yesterday he walked 10 whole steps
without a walker or his cane! Will be doing 3 times a week
therapy for a few more months. Also said he also just got up
to 10 reps of curls with 5 pounds last time (this is a guy who
previously curled 50 pounds all the time!).
Sounds like Beth went through hell. Jerry now jokes that he was
so sedated that every one of his doctor buddies who came to
visit him all did basic reaction and brain tests on him and he
failed miserably (Jerry squeeze my hand if you know who I am,
etc.). Invariably they all walked out the room and immediately
went and consoled Beth that poor Jerry was a vegetable and she
was going to have to endure or whatever. Got to be a real pain
for them both. Of course, crazy Jerry recently has spent time
visiting his office and staff and whenever he sees one of his
doctor partners, he grabs there hand and asks then to squeeze it
if they recognize HIM!
Jerry was in great shape and strong before the crash (especially
for a guy who turned 65 last September). He is determined to
get all the now hanging flabby skin back in top shape in less
than one year! I believe him!
May 14th update:
went back to work on April 25. He was back to driving his
beloved 350Z even earlier. No longer using a walker or
even a cane! Has a slight limp. Told us one leg is
1" shorter than the other forever, but that will be an
"advantage" going both up and down the mountains when he returns
to backpacking in the Sierra's!