Monday, September 26, 2011

What Happened

On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 21, Jack was picking up bales of hay in a field a mile or so from home.  While attempting to clean some gunk out of the bale wagon, his wrist was caught by the machine and was pulled in.  He managed to free himself, but as he did his shirt caught in the metal teeth of the conveyor belt used for picking up bales, and his right arm was pulled into the machinery.

As he could not reach the ignition to turn off the bale wagon, Jack wedged his boot into the conveyor belt to keep it from moving.  This was how he stood for seven hours before family members found him around 9 p.m.

The helicopter from the La Grande (Ore.) Hospital picked him up in the field and flew him to Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Wash., and Carol Ann, Whitney, and Rolie followed in the car.  Jason and Becky live a ten-minute drive from Walla Walla so they met Jack at the hospital there around 10:30 p.m. and stayed with him in Trauma 1 until the other three joined them an hour and a half later.

The Walla Walla medical team quickly realized they did not offer the specialized surgery Jack would need to repair his arm and side.  He had sustained significant injuries to his right wrist, shoulder, armpit, and side, including deep gashes, puncture wounds, scratches, and a burn on his chest where he had been pressed against the hot machinery.  Near his armpit was a large section where the skin had been completely removed.  They decided to Life Flight Jack to OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University), a large and very capable hospital in Portland.

Around 2:30 a.m. Life Flight left the Walla Walla airport for the 50-minute flight to Portland, where Katrina and Lorin met Jack and Carol Ann, who had accompanied Jack for the Life Flight.

At 7:30 a.m. the OHSU medical team did a minor exploratory surgery to determine the extent of the damages and to clean out the wounds as best they could.  Jack's arm and side were then wrapped and he was placed in a hospital room to recuperate.  When his blood pressure shot up that afternoon, they moved him to the trauma ICU where they could better monitor his situation, and he has remained there.

No comments:

Post a Comment