Sunday, August 14


OK, it's a bad week for anyone I know who rides a motorcycle. Motorcycling friends, do us all a favor and get off the bike for a while. Please.

So first we hear that on Monday a co-worker missed a curve on his Harley and ended up at the bottom of a cliff. Search & rescue found his body a couple of days later.

Then on Friday A gets a maddeningly-cryptic one-line message from her father: "[A's nephew] has been life-flighted to a Portland hospital." That's it. No other info whatsoever. And, of course, dad-in-law is in a remote part of the Appalachians right now, so we can't actually call him and find out what the hell is really going on. A finally gets ahold of her sister on Saturday morning and gets the real story.

Apparently nephew was riding his dirt bike out on a trail somewhere in the boonies on Wednesday. He lost control and he and the bike went two different directions. Unfortunately for nephew, there was a tree in the direction he flew. Somehow, nephew manages to get up, get back on the bike and ride it back to his truck (he was out riding alone). Thinking he'd cracked a couple of ribs, he laid in the back of the truck until someone came along to help him get the bike up into the truck. Then he drives himself to the hospital! Once in the Southwest Washington Medical Center ER they took one look at him and immediately loaded him on a life-flight helicopter. Four minutes later he was in the Emmanuel trauma center. Miraculously, no broken bones at all, but he had a punctured lung, something called a hematosis on a kidney, and most seriously, a severe laceration of his liver. Word from the doctors was that his injury was the worst liver laceration they'd ever seen on a person who was still breathing. Amazing how much abuse an active 21-year-old body can take and still (literally) walk away.

We went to go see him in the ICU yesterday. Other than doped to the gills on morphine and looking a bit jaundiced, he was lucid and actually looked pretty good. He's not out of the woods yet, he's still bleeding a bit more internally than his body could replenish it, but they're hoping to move him out of ICU today.

So, friends, please just stay away from that motorcycle for a while. I don't want you to be #3.


  1. My. Please pass along my condolences and support to Al and her family--

    My dad's a doctor. There were two strictly forbidden activities for us as children: motorcycling and trampolining. I've trampolined since then, but I will never, ever, ever get on a motorcycle.

  2. Thanks for the good thoughts, TRP.

    We did go see nephew again yesterday. He was looking and sounding amazingly better. He's still in ICU, but he doesn't appear to be in imminent danger. He said he's still bleeding a bit internally, but the term the docs used was "oozing". Sounds like they want to keep him in ICU until he's not losing more than he's making. They put a stint in to drain his bile ducts (damn that sounds unpleasant!) on Friday. He was looking pretty jaundiced when we saw him on Saturday, but now that the stint is doing its thing, his coloring was back closer to normal. He was also drinking some water when we saw him, so that has to be a good sign, too.

    He's damn lucky he's an athletic 21-year-old and not a thirty-something desk jockey like yours truly ...