South Shore High School Class of 1957

Saturday May 14, 2005
Mini High School Reunion Dinner at The Elephant Bar in Irvine, California
(The pictures with gold borders are "thumbnails".  Click on them to see a larger version.)

Ten SSHS 1957 alumni's and spouses met at Doug & Karen Malewicki's home in Irvine
prior to dining at the nearby Elephant Bar.

This is the first SSHS Southern California get together since Dr. Jerry Brodkin had his almost fatal skiing accident at Aspen this past January 21st.  We made him bring X-Rays!  (Read the gory details below the pictures.)


Dr. Jerry Brodkin shows Fay Flanzer one of his X-Rays.  Jerry drove up from Escondido in his Nissan 350Z sportscar.
Denny & Fay Flanzer drove their Porsche Boxster down from Palos Verdes
Susi & Ken Solovy drove 100 miles each way from Thousand Oaks!

Sara (Peal) Zaremberg and Ken

Mr. Porsche dude.

Dr. Jerry & Beth Brodkin

Doug & Karen Malewicki

Craig & Sara  from Anaheim Hills with Ken Solovy.

The gang at the EBar.

Dr. Jerry Brodkin & Fay Flanzer

Susi and Ken Solovy next to Denny.

Karen & Doug Malewicki next to Susi.

Jerry, Fay & Beth

Beth with Craig & Sara

Fay and Sara

Sara & Craig

AND
now for the gory details of Dr. Jerry's accident!

 

 

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 19th:

----- Original Message -----

From: "J BRODKIN" <JPB@COX.NET
>Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2005 11:16 AM
Subject: Skiing

> 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 hospital  (2
> weeks in ICU on a ventilator)  and 5 blood transfusions.
>
> Obviously too complicated for an email.  
> Crippling Yours;
> Jerry

I 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! 

He 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. 

I took notes as we talked to relate to our class mates:

1. Broken collarbone
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 second!     

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: 

Jerry 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!
GO JERRY!

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Dottie Gordon (Benjamin) Ina May Flink Richard Washer
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