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nebug

My last jump

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Last year, after over 60 years of living, I decided to retake up the sport of my youth. My children were grown, my wife and I divorced 25 years ago, and I was responsible for the lives of no one. I contacted the local club DZ, took the first jump course, made 3 static lines to get used to the hand deploy pilot chute and 5 freefalls to get current.

Last saturday, arriving at the DZ, I was invited on a hop-n-pop load. We climbed to 3500 feet, the door opened, and the cool greenness of the earth beckoned. As I was climbing out, my hand slipped on the strut, I fell, I flipped forward upside down (front loop) but when I came back around, stabilized, waited a couple, and then deployed my hackey thinking how cool this felt. My canopy flight was normal. I flew a pattern, 300 ft on final then did not touch the toggles until about 10 feet then flaired fully but with no wind the horizonal speed caused me to feel a pop in my left knee. I guessed I broke my leg. First time in 42 years being hurt.

My surgeon is also a skydiver in the club and at the pre-surgery appointment today, he said I had shattered the tibea right below the knee joint and we had only one chance to save the knee and the leg but that jump had to be my last.
The love of my life, my ex-wife, came into the office and began comforting me as I cried for losing the most fantastic sport (to me) in the world. I am sick, it is now 7 hours later, and I am still have difficulty coming to grips with that loss. I guess from here on I will just have to envy you.
My time in the sport and especially my last jump was wonderful. Thank you.
Regards,
Old Toad

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Sorry to hear about your bad landing and the hard, but best decision to give up the sport. It's not exactly the same, but have you ever looking into this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_paragliding

Please keep us updated on your recovery! Hang in there!
We're not fucking flying airplanes are we, no we're flying a glorified kite with no power and it should be flown like one! - Stratostar

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Regardless of what the Doctor said, "You" have to be the one to determine if you jump again. If you heal properly and it feels right, simply upsize a bit.

I too have injuries from the past but with the right canopy, this sport isn't all that taxing on the body, especially with all the size options these days.

Best wished for a fast and full recovery.
You live more in the few minutes of skydiving than many people live in their lifetime

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Food for thought - there are guys out there jumping with one leg, no legs, two legs with no use of either one, etc. I jump with a guy who's somewhere north of 60 and he's only got one arm.

Give it a year. Get a kneebrace and bigger canopy, and limit your jumping to days with 10mph winds or greater. There are ways to make it work, it might not be as easy or simple as it is for others, but jumping is jumping, and some it better than none.

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What a touching post. Of course we're all going to have to stop jumping at some point (or die before we get chance!), and I expect when that happens to me I'll feel similarly bereft.

I'm not about to tell you to ignore the advice of a health professional (especially one who knows the sport) - but as others have said, never say never given that we have very active skydivers who are missing lower limbs altogether and severely disabled people jumping tandem.

But for now, concentrate on healing well. That is the most important thing and the only immediate one you need to worry about.

Out of interest, how long had you been out of the sport before you came back to it last year?

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Hi,
I'd like to introduce you to someone:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZuLmgT0Feg

Pay particular attention around 4:47. Bazza had the worst leg X-rays I've ever seen. He continued to race for years after this crash. You can utilize coping techniques others have already mentioned here. You can, & I think will, jump again, friend. Don't be sick OT, be adaptive. I'm sorry for your setback. Heal Fast.

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