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David Wang

got injured on jump #24

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Hi all,

hope everything is going well. Right now I know that I am a true addict (according to my instructor) - had an accident on jump 24 and was rushed to the hospital and had a surgery but the only thing I have been thinking since the accident is when I can jump again, or if I am allowed to jump again according to USPA guidelines. (Pretty funny when I was moved in the ambulance in the field the only question I asked was 'where is my altimeter' :`D  I just bought a Viso ii that day and didn't want to lose it lol)

I had a spinal fusion surgery on my hip / Sacral area (my whole spine was disconnected from the hip, and I was lucky enough not to be paralyzed) the Surgeon put 4 screws and 2 rods on it and a full recovery is expected. Right now I'm already walking without help. I'm also thinking about removing all hardware when bones heal. Do DZs allow jumping with spinal fusion? Another injury is right shoulder anterior dislocation. I have read some posts on this website and understand that this is a dangerous one. Is surgery recommended at this point? This was my first time dislocating my shoulder. I will do tons of rehab to seriously build some muscles.  I will also talk to my doctor. I understand that Back and shoulder problems are dangerous for skydivers. However, I know that a lot of people have overcome injuries like shoulder and back problems and return to the sky successfully. One good thing is that age is on my side. I just turned 19 this year so my recovery is fast and I have a lot of time to heal and exercise. 

A lot of people have been telling me to quit but my logic is this: I can't just give up something I love so much because I get hurt from it. Somehow, life decided that it was not my time that day. I treat this accident as an obstacle on my way to A. IF IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ME TO JUMP, I have decided that I will do whatever it takes to return to the sky safely. 

Thank you for listening! Blue Skies. 

 

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(edited)

Good luck with your recovery. And let me be the first to say that this is a poor place to seek medical advice. Let me also be the first to say that although the gory details of your injury and surgery are interesting, what we really want to hear about are the details of how the hell you did that to yourself.

 

And....what did your mom have to say......

Edited by gowlerk
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16 hours ago, David Wang said:

Hi all,

hope everything is going well. Right now I know that I am a true addict (according to my instructor) - had an accident on jump 24 and was rushed to the hospital and had a surgery but the only thing I have been thinking since the accident is when I can jump again, or if I am allowed to jump again according to USPA guidelines. (Pretty funny when I was moved in the ambulance in the field the only question I asked was 'where is my altimeter' :`D  I just bought a Viso ii that day and didn't want to lose it lol)

I had a spinal fusion surgery on my hip / Sacral area (my whole spine was disconnected from the hip, and I was lucky enough not to be paralyzed) the Surgeon put 4 screws and 2 rods on it and a full recovery is expected. Right now I'm already walking without help. I'm also thinking about removing all hardware when bones heal. Do DZs allow jumping with spinal fusion? Another injury is right shoulder anterior dislocation. I have read some posts on this website and understand that this is a dangerous one. Is surgery recommended at this point? This was my first time dislocating my shoulder. I will do tons of rehab to seriously build some muscles.  I will also talk to my doctor. I understand that Back and shoulder problems are dangerous for skydivers. However, I know that a lot of people have overcome injuries like shoulder and back problems and return to the sky successfully. One good thing is that age is on my side. I just turned 19 this year so my recovery is fast and I have a lot of time to heal and exercise. 

A lot of people have been telling me to quit but my logic is this: I can't just give up something I love so much because I get hurt from it. Somehow, life decided that it was not my time that day. I treat this accident as an obstacle on my way to A. IF IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ME TO JUMP, I have decided that I will do whatever it takes to return to the sky safely. 

Thank you for listening! Blue Skies. 

 

You cant leave us hanging like this you tease.... what caused the injury on your jump ??

Glad you are ok and not paralysed, as you said age is on your side and you will heal up quick... speedy recovery dude.

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The only people qualified to tell you if you CAN jump again are your doctors. 

The only person who can decide if you WANT TO jump again is you.

The question of SHOULD YOU jump again is thornier - it eventually comes down to you, but to jump after a life threatening injury without talking it over with your family and explaining your feelings would be a dick move. They're they're supporting you during your recovery, I'm sure. Give them the respect they deserve for that.

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1 hour ago, yoink said:

The only people qualified to tell you if you CAN jump again are your doctors. 

The only person who can decide if you WANT TO jump again is you.

The question of SHOULD YOU jump again is thornier - it eventually comes down to you, but to jump after a life threatening injury without talking it over with your family and explaining your feelings would be a dick move. They're they're supporting you during your recovery, I'm sure. Give them the respect they deserve for that.

What you are saying makes sense to me. Thank you. 

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6 hours ago, David Wang said:

What you are saying makes sense to me. Thank you. 

Most jumpers go through this - the conversation, not the surgery. ;)

A lot of people see what we do as stupid; Reckless; Pointless, and any other number of things. You have to be able to explain why something that those people will probably never experience is important to you.

You also have to be prepared to listen.

 

PERSONALLY, the risk outweighed the benefit when I had a family. That’s my decision. But it shows how the evaluation is a continual one - not just something you decide forever.

And remember, there’s no rush. It’s pretty tough to guarantee stuff in these times but one thing is for certain - the sky isn’t going anywhere. :)

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2 hours ago, yoink said:

Most jumpers go through this - the conversation, not the surgery. ;)

A lot of people see what we do as stupid; Reckless; Pointless, and any other number of things. You have to be able to explain why something that those people will probably never experience is important to you.

You also have to be prepared to listen.

 

PERSONALLY, the risk outweighed the benefit when I had a family. That’s my decision. But it shows how the evaluation is a continual one - not just something you decide forever.

And remember, there’s no rush. It’s pretty tough to guarantee stuff in these times but one thing is for certain - the sky isn’t going anywhere. :)

Thank you!! These are all very good points. 

I'm sure I will have a pretty serious conversation about skydiving with my family very soon and I need to be prepared. And you are right there is no rush - the sky is always there! 

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Hint: if you quit smoking. your bones will heal quicker.

The problem is that carbon monoxide (found in smoke) kills the tiny capillary blood vessels that supply nutrients to all of your cells. The fewer your capillaries, the slower you heal.

One of the scariest things I ever heard was a surgeon wandering around the room mumbling "You are 53 years old but you do not smoke ... you are 53 years old but you do not smoke ...." Fortunately he decided to operate on my knee bone and it has not dislocated since.

 

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(edited)

How and why your accident/injury occured is extremely relevant as to whether or not you "should" jump again.

whether you choose to share it here, or with others, or not at all, it should be a major consideration as to your future.

Edited by skydivecat
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(edited)

I have got a lot of different opinions and advice from my friends and instructors...I'm confused....I believe I will get more different opinions and advice if I post here and I will be more confused lol. I was told that an uspa incident report has been filed by the dropzone, so I'm not gonna post it here. Thank you all! 

Edited by David Wang

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On 10/18/2020 at 2:47 PM, riggerrob said:

Hint: if you quit smoking. your bones will heal quicker.

The problem is that carbon monoxide (found in smoke) kills the tiny capillary blood vessels that supply nutrients to all of your cells. The fewer your capillaries, the slower you heal.

One of the scariest things I ever heard was a surgeon wandering around the room mumbling "You are 53 years old but you do not smoke ... you are 53 years old but you do not smoke ...." Fortunately he decided to operate on my knee bone and it has not dislocated since.

 

Thanks for the advice lol fortunately I never smoke! :rofl:;P I remember when I attended my brother's wedding my sister-in-law tried to let me smoke but I refused lol

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4 hours ago, David Wang said:

I was told that an uspa incident report has been filed by the dropzone, so I'm not gonna post it here.

This post is NOT meant to push you into posting the details about your injury here, but I also can't just leave it unsaid.

The fact that you post it as an USPA incident report means very little to me in terms of learning about the incident. Many outside of the US don't get Parachutist (so I'm not even sure if the details get published there). Other than that, it all gets aggregated and published statistics (which I do find fairly useful).

If it weren't for some incident reports on the DZ, I would probably never think some things were possible or consider the dangers enough in some specific scenarios. The incident reports here are meant for everyone to learn and ultimately be safer.

What I do care about in an incident: participants experience, gear, details of the situation (what happened precisely), anything else that might have contributed to the incident.
What I couldn't care less about: who the participants were or anything that might incriminate anyone personally.

Submitting a USPA incident report doesn't really substitute sharing the details with the community. Again, I'm not pushing you to share the details, do whatever you want, but still wanted to make sure that no one reads this and thinks that the two are equivalent and they provide the same value to the community. Ideally, one would do both I guess.

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4 hours ago, Binary93 said:

What I couldn't care less about: who the participants were

You might be forgetting that the OP chose to use their full name as their username, which means that while you personally might not care about who the participants were, someone else might and it is not really possible for the OP to post the details anonymously at this point. While I agree that details about incidents are a valuable learning opportunity for the community, it is not realistic to expect that everyone would be willing to put themselves (with identifying personal details) under the spotlight for the sake of random strangers on the internet learning something. 

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17 minutes ago, Kenzdik96 said:

You might be forgetting that the OP chose to use their full name as their username, which means that while you personally might not care about who the participants were, someone else might and it is not really possible for the OP to post the details anonymously at this point. While I agree that details about incidents are a valuable learning opportunity for the community, it is not realistic to expect that everyone would be willing to put themselves (with identifying personal details) under the spotlight for the sake of random strangers on the internet learning something. 

Fully agree, sorry if it came out differently.

I merely "triggered" at the "I was told that an uspa incident report has been filed by the dropzone, so I'm not gonna post it here" part. From my perspective, it's practically the same as "I'd rather not share" which he stated multiple times and with which I had no problem (and still don't).

Edit: Correction, he never stated it, but skipped to share after multiple inquiries which is the same I guess.

Edited by Binary93

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Also curious about how the injuries occurred. Sounds like a really shitty landing from the stated injuries. It might be helpful to many jumpers if the details were posted; I know I have learned a LOT from people who shared that kind of info, and I have shared what I learned from them with other jumpers. 

Because an incident report was submitted to USPA does not mean that the info will be published in Parachutist.  

No one has to post anything anywhere about something that happened to them. But doing so can be super helpful to other jumpers, even if it is embarrassing to talk about.  

Heal well, David. Do the physical therapy religiously and don't get back in the air until your doctor gives the okay. 

And good luck with the parents.  

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12 hours ago, skybytch said:

Also curious about how the injuries occurred. Sounds like a really shitty landing from the stated injuries. It might be helpful to many jumpers if the details were posted; I know I have learned a LOT from people who shared that kind of info, and I have shared what I learned from them with other jumpers. 

Because an incident report was submitted to USPA does not mean that the info will be published in Parachutist.  

No one has to post anything anywhere about something that happened to them. But doing so can be super helpful to other jumpers, even if it is embarrassing to talk about.  

Heal well, David. Do the physical therapy religiously and don't get back in the air until your doctor gives the okay. 

And good luck with the parents.  

Thank you for all the encouragement. And you guys have convinced me and I will post the details here for the purpose of learning and helping others. I feel bad to ignore multiple inquiries. But I can expect that I will get different opinions and advice here. 

What happened: 

I hurt my arm during my previous landing. It was sore but was functional and I decided to jump again. Right shoulder dislocated on exit and I couldn’t control my right arm right after the exit if I remember correctly. Pulled the reserve at 3,300 ft. (And my coach pulled the main at the same time but I didn’t realize it) I was under the beautiful white reserve and my main was trailing behind, still in the bag. Later, the reserve suddenly dived down at maybe just a couple hundred feet. I was confused for a second, looked back, saw the fully inflated main and realized i was having a 2-out.  The reserve was nearly below me and the main was behind and above me. I thought it was a down plane, so I cut away immediately and hit the ground before the reserve flew level. 

What I have learned:

1. Make good decisions up high to avoid making bad decisions down low. (Pull the reserve at 4,500. ) 

2. Altitude is my friend.

3. Do not jump when I am not fully confident with my body. 

What I still feel confused about:

People (who I have asked) have various opinions on whether I should cut away (or not) my coach told me that not cutting away at that low is a better course of action and personally I tend to agree with this saying - because the main provided a drag force that slowed me down.  If I cut away I would swing under the reserve.And one of my instructors thinks that it looks like a down plane but it actually acts like a stable “bi-plane”. Honestly I still don’t understand why it acts like a “bi-plane”. He says I was coming down at an angle not straight down,so I should have landed the 2-out.  However, some people say I should cut away(and that is what I actually did) “it is a down plane by definition” and “any down plane is a cutaway”.  

It is definitely a tough 2-out situation.. it is not a standard down plane but it really looks like it.  The reserve was nearly below me and the main was behind and above me and they were opposite each other. 

Welcome to discuss...I always have fun learning new things. I have been doing research on two canopies out these days. 

Edited by David Wang
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Dude, you survived a situation that a whole lot of experienced people would have trouble dealing with. Really. You got some good luck, but quite a bit of bad luck too. This was not a beginner malfunction.

A lot of people have jumped with injuries they thought they could handle; most of them got lucky. Your shoulder demonstrated why that's not always smart. Having two out is a theoretical situation that they give very experienced jumpers during emergency procedures practice; there are a lot of decision trees, and you haven't the time in the sport to have gone through most of them in your mind.

One thing to consider is that when you have a potential ball of shit above you, a big ball of shit is probably better than a small ball of shit. And cutting away that low is almost guaranteed to kill or hurt you very seriously. Even a downplane that starts that low probably doesn't have enough time to accelerate as much as cutting away would. But shit -- you have 24 jumps and you were facing an emergent situation. You're here to talk about it. Anyone who gives you a bunch of crap is wrong.

Instructors and the like talking to you about choices are hoping that you can incorporate what happened well enough to judge more quickly if you have another malfunction. You are very lucky that you were probably still jumping big student canopies. This would have been a different report with smaller canopies. 

Heal fast.

Wendy P.

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(edited)
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Right shoulder dislocated on exit and I couldn’t control my right arm right after the exit if I remember correctly

You could have pulled the reserve right then... Not sure why would one continue the skydive with dislocated shoulder. I had dislocated my shoulder in the free fall once too, I know the feeling.

Thanks for sharing! Good luck with your recovery. Shoulders can be fixed!

Edited by CoolBeans

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1 hour ago, David Wang said:

Right shoulder dislocated on exit and I couldn’t control my right arm right after the exit if I remember correctly. Pulled the reserve at 3,300 ft. (And my coach pulled the main at the same time but I didn’t realize it)

Thank you for sharing.  I was wondering:

1. What were you and the coach doing from 12,500 to 3,300?  Did he know you were having right-arm issues?  What was your plan (i.e., did you intentionally wait to get to a lower altitude to pull the reserve, were you panicking, did it take you a while to figure out what to do, etc.)?


2. If the coach was going to pull your main, did he say why he waited until 3,300 to do it?

 

Good luck in your recovery!

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(edited)

So, without second-guessing and/or flaming someone....

I assume your “coach” was an AFF I. 

If not, they had no business pulling for you.

I assume it took a minute for you and the coach to figure out what was going on, and a minute takes you from altitude to 3500’.

So, no “what were you doing waiting that long”.

In the end, YOU deployed your reserve. 
You did your job.

This is an ugly situation, especially with low jump numbers.

Advice; in this situation, with a fully inflated reserve, the proper course would be to disconnect the RSL, look to be sure the main risers weren’t interwoven with the reserve, and chop the main up high before it inflated. I’m assuming, based on what you have said, that you were under your reserve for a while prior to it inflating.

As to whether a DZ will allow you to jump with this injury, the more important thing is what could happen if you have another rough landing (not necessarily as bad as this one). I know someone who broke his neck (full halo for a couple of months), then shortly after coming back to the sport broke his back, then came back again and is now very involved in big-way jumping. He had a lot more jumps than you when this started.

I also know someone who quit the sport after this type of injury, as he felt the financial implications of another serious injury would not be fair to his family.

 

Edited by ufk22

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(edited)
On 10/23/2020 at 12:27 PM, wmw999 said:

Dude, you survived a situation that a whole lot of experienced people would have trouble dealing with. Really. You got some good luck, but quite a bit of bad luck too. This was not a beginner malfunction.

A lot of people have jumped with injuries they thought they could handle; most of them got lucky. Your shoulder demonstrated why that's not always smart. Having two out is a theoretical situation that they give very experienced jumpers during emergency procedures practice; there are a lot of decision trees, and you haven't the time in the sport to have gone through most of them in your mind.

One thing to consider is that when you have a potential ball of shit above you, a big ball of shit is probably better than a small ball of shit. And cutting away that low is almost guaranteed to kill or hurt you very seriously. Even a downplane that starts that low probably doesn't have enough time to accelerate as much as cutting away would. But shit -- you have 24 jumps and you were facing an emergent situation. You're here to talk about it. Anyone who gives you a bunch of crap is wrong.

Instructors and the like talking to you about choices are hoping that you can incorporate what happened well enough to judge more quickly if you have another malfunction. You are very lucky that you were probably still jumping big student canopies. This would have been a different report with smaller canopies. 

Heal fast.

Wendy P.

Thank you so much. "a big ball of shit is better than a small ball of shit" this is a good way to think things! I also remember that below 1,000 ft if there is something wrong I need to get as much fabric over my head as possible.  Although it looks like a down plane, but the main was more above my head, so I shouldn't have cut away. And yes I was jumping big student rig, Nav 240.

Edited by David Wang

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On 10/23/2020 at 1:13 PM, CoolBeans said:

You could have pulled the reserve right then... Not sure why would one continue the skydive with dislocated shoulder. I had dislocated my shoulder in the free fall once too, I know the feeling.

Thanks for sharing! Good luck with your recovery. Shoulders can be fixed!

That is a good advice! Thank you. Pull higher to stop the madness. A friend told me the same thing. I will remember the next time. Hopefully shoulders can be fixed haha...I really want to jump again under the blue skies. 

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