Submitted by Joe Boyle.
This action-packed serial story comes to you in four parts. Click on the following link to access previously published Part I if you missed it the first time.
The first chapter concluded with the following thoughts. 1. I managed to live after my 70 mph motorcycle crash, but how? 2. Does Nurse Crystal Fessenden have anything to do with my survival? 3. What is Tom Canary’s role?
TWILIGHT ZONE SCENE 3
When I came to full rest on the roadside the fourth bike to reach my location was Nurse Crystal. When she contacted me, I was unconscious. I was not breathing normally. In fact, I ended up in a coma for two days.
So what we have is the bad luck, the crash, followed by the good luck, a nurse instantly on hand in the middle of nowhere with the experience and knowledge required to keep a dying man from losing his life.
Crystal and Tom saved my life. Crystal cleared my airway and protected my neck and spine. Tom prevented me from flailing around and landing in a water hazard where I could have drowned.
From our remote location 35-45 miles south of Deadhorse, Alaska, MotoQuest used their satellite phone to request an ambulance. Crystal and Tom stayed with me in the mud for 2 1/2 hours waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
As I lay unconscious, I was suffering from a long list of injuries including a black eye, traumatic brain injury (TBI), lacerated kidney, unconscious coma state, broken right wrist, and fractures of my eye socket, upper cheekbone, and index finger. The TBI affected speech, memory, and balance. So far it appears the TBI may also have wiped out my long-term relationship, connection, and love of the Blues, which is a significant mental and musical loss for me.
TWILIGHT ZONE SCENE 4
The ambulance transported me to Prudhoe Bay where I was loaded into a Learjet and flown to a Catholic medical facility called Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. Because of my coma, I have no memory of my $81,000 ride in a Learjet.
It is interesting to note that when I was born during World War II, I started my life in Seattle, Washington at a Catholic medical facility called Providence Hospital. The nurses nicknamed me Tuffy because after finishing my bottle of milk, I demanded to drink the milk belonging to the other infants.
When it came time to die, it was like a scene out of Twilight Zone. I ended up back in Providence Hospital. But this time Providence Hospital was in Anchorage, Alaska, not Seattle. The nurses must have looked up my record and said, “Hey this is Tuffy. We brought him into this world 75 years ago. We can’t let Tuffy die. He’s one of our own.”
TWILIGHT ZONE SCENE 5
You might wonder, “How did I survive the bone-jarring crash long enough to make it to the hospital?” Five things relate to my avoidance of death.
- Crystal Fessenden, RN provided me with immediate life saving medical care.
- My buddy, Tom Canary, assisted Crystal in keeping me out of harm’s way.
- I elected to wear top caliber safety gear.
- Excellent luck or as many have suggested, God’s will.
- Global Rescue (a medical evacuation service) arranged for my transportation to an Anchorage hospital and monitored my survival needs.
I purposely wore the best gear I could get my hands on.
- Merlino Wool base-layer to prevent hypothermia.
- Draggin long john style top and bottom made of Kevlar the same material used in bulletproof police vests. Kevlar helps avoid road rash.
- Aerostitch brand pants and jacket which comprised a motorcycle riding suit. The suit featured armor for spine, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.
- Leather Gortex water-proof gauntlet style gloves with wool inserts to keep my hands warm and dry.
- Brand new Shoei full face modular helmet.
While Alaska does not mandate helmet use, I was able to think for myself without a government mandate. I protected my head and brain with a high quality 100% coverage helmet.
Had I not been wearing quality equipment, you would be reading an obituary, not a Westside Story.
This story does not end yet. Chapter III will bring additional Twilight Zone type scenes your way. How does Global Rescue help Crystal save my life? Learn what I mean by Level I – Thanks.
Chapter III is scheduled to appear in The Suburban Times. Don’t miss it.