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  1. New update on the big guy. Thank goodness for morphine. Who knew hiccups could be so horribly painful? His attitude is back, so things are improving. Keep up the positive thoughts. Doc Cari Doc
  2. Just wanted to update everyone and let you know that BIGUN has successfully come thru 3.5 hours of surgery. He is still in recovery, but he is stable and starting to come around. Thanks to all for the {good vibes}. Blue Skies All... Doc Cari Doc
  3. The true measure of a great man is that when he leaves this world it is a now a better place because he was here. Woof.
  4. I was concerned about the integrity of the H/C after being cut -up and rebuilt; not related to the plane. Those concerns were dissuaded by Jeff. Doc
  5. As most of you read back in February, I was in a skydiving plane crash. Since then, I have been recovering from four broken vertebrae, one compression and a sprained ankle. As a result of trying to keep working and physical therapy, I am behind on some, "Thank You's." I want to thank all the skydivers that came to the hospital, those that sent me cards and gifts, those that called, those that looked in on me, those that helped with chores and - our community. I also want to thank Jeff J. at Mirage. As a result of the crash, the paramedics and life flight had to cut off my rig. While recovering, I was unsure whether to send my less than one-year-old rig in for a rebuild and have "gear fear" concerns or just simply purchase a new one. A fellow skydiver posted an inquiry here on requesting information about a rebuild versus a new rig. Within an hour or so, I was contacted by Jeff J. who spoke with me in great length and detail about the reconstructive process. His assurances, time and offer to personally rebuild it was greatly appreciated. Jeff rebuilt it with his own hands and after its return, I took it out to the drop zone to show it off and get it put back together. And, while it looked like a brand new rig from the factory, I knew that one person had taken an inordinate amount of time to personally unstitch and rebuild this rig. That in itself gives me the confidence to jump this rig again. And, needless to say, I think Mirage and the folks at Mirage ROCK! Thank you all and thank you, Jeff. Doc
  6. Mar, Ever since I met you, you have been a mentor, inspiration and friend. Thank you for the compliments and support. It has meant a great deal to me. I want to thank everyone for their concern and vibes. I didn't know what to expect when I posted this, but it has helped me more than I could have imagined. I had a long talk with my best friend this evening and he put it all in perspective for me. It is going to take some time, but I will heal from this and I will jump again. Everything happens for a reason and I have to believe that in the long run, I will be stronger for it. Peace and Blue Skies to all, ~Doc Doc
  7. It's comforting to know that the emotional aspect is "normal" in these situations. There are so many thoughts and concerns running through my head all at once. I go from depressed to angry and then just confused. Doc
  8. It was a beautiful sunny day, warm, with a slight breeze. The weather had been lousy for almost a month. We were going to do just a quick four thousand foot hop and pop to air out. Four good friends were together for a quiet afternoon of skydiving. I don’t remember the crash. I don’t even remember being scared. Suddenly, a paramedic was screaming at me, just inches from my face. My name, my age and the date were gone from my immediate memory. Panic and fear set in. There was pain. I couldn’t move my back or my right leg. My face was hot and felt like it was burning. They were trying to cut my rig off. I had my fingers gripped tightly around the webbing. A fireman tried to peel my fingers back one by one, but then someone else just cut below my handles and then chopped off both leg straps. There was no memory of what happened. Frantic people were all around me. I was strapped down to a backboard as two guys forced my arm straight and with great difficulty managed to get an IV in my arm. Apparently, I was slightly uncooperative. They kept asking me questions that I didn’t know the answers to. I couldn’t remember. I didn’t know how I got there. I didn’t remember the skydive. Was I hurt on landing? What went wrong? I heard the helicopter land and knew that it was bad. I wondered if any one else was hurt or worse. They drugged me, partly for pain and partly for restraints. Dale was there. I saw him. He told them my name. Everyone else was okay. The plane crashed. Part of it was coming back to me. I remember taking off and then the engine went silent. Dale looked back at me and that’s the last thing I could remember. Then they loaded me into the helicopter. I was surrounded by strangers and suddenly felt very alone and scared. The tears started as we lifted off. A female paramedic on LifeFlight held my hand because I couldn’t stop shaking. The next few hours were blurry. I blurted out my age because I suddenly remembered it at one point. At the hospital ER they cut off my clothes and kept me in restraints. X-rays and CT scans were taken. Some friends came in and out. I didn’t know how bad I looked. Dale was there again. I finally knew my name and they kept trying to put the wrong last name on my wristband. He corrected them for me. I asked him to call my dad. The days since my accident have been difficult. Everyone says how lucky I am. I have some fractured vertebrae, a busted ankle and my face was scratched up. All things that can heal with time. I have been surrounded and supported by my family and friends. I am happy to be alive, but I am struggling with pain that isn’t physical in nature. It seems that my world has changed drastically in those few seconds. My future in skydiving is in question. I don’t know if physically I can continue or mentally, if I should. I look at the pieces of my once beautiful mirage and don’t even know if I should send it in to get repaired or just sell what’s left. In all the accident scenarios that I had ever thought might, could or would happen, a plane crash was never one of them. Dale was the pilot that day. I have been to the crash site and have seen the plane. He did everything right. We are all alive because of the way he handled the plane and the situation. I wrote this post in part to just talk about it and secondly, as a reminder. Safety day is approaching and I would strongly encourage everyone to review aircraft crash emergency procedures thoroughly and have pilots “Know your terrain and where you will go every second of your flight path if you have an engine failure”. –diverdriver Thank you to all my skydiving friends who have sent me messages of concern. I appreciate all of your cards, flowers and gifts. ~Doc Cari