My Near Fatal Automobile Accident

Today is the 13th anniversary of my near fatal automobile accident.

Automobile Accident

On Saturday, November 23, 2002 at approximately 4pm I was in a near fatal automobile accident. I was driving east bound on interstate 80 in Utah, when at mile marker 57 my truck drifted off to the right side of the highway. I corrected to the left which sent my truck into five horizontal and one vertical rolls. I have no recollection of the accident or what caused the accident, so the account of this accident was given to me by those who saw the accident. Two truck drivers pulled me out through the front windshield before my vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. Airmed was dispatched to transport me to The University Of Utah Hospital for medical care. I do remember being transported off the helicopter because I remember the emergency personnel telling me that the air blowing down on me was just from the helicopter blades. Other than that, I remember very little about the accident or the days after.

2001 Chevrolet Blazer ZR2

My Injuries

Left Leg X-rayAt the hospital,, surgery was done to stabilize my severely broken left leg. On Sunday, surgery was performed to remove fluid from around my spleen. On Monday, surgery was done to insert a metal rod and plate in my lower left leg along with various screws and to put a screw in my broken left little toe. To this point my injuries where as follows: compound fractures in both my left fibula and tibia, a broken left little toe, two broken ribs on the left side of my back, a broken left clavicle, bruises on both lungs, along with many other scrapes and bruises. On Tuesday I was transferred to a regular hospital room after spending three nights in surgical intensive care. All told I was in the hospital for approximately 2 weeks and I had a total of 7 surgeries over a few months time.

How My Life has Changed

As a result of this accident, I need to wear a brace on my left leg due to foot drop caused by nerve damage in my lower leg. Other than that, there have been no long term effects other than my left leg being weaker than my right. Following this event I feel that I have been given a second chance on life. I now try to live every day like it is my last. Sometimes this is difficult, but this life event has taught me the importance of not waiting for life to pass me by.

One thought on “My Near Fatal Automobile Accident

  1. Patrick Whalley

    My St. Norbert’s Brother,

    John, I hope this finds you well. I am so glad that you were able to survive that most horrific accident! It looks like you had some guardian angels with you that day. Melissa Kuffner (Prettyman) posted your blog on facebook and I just wanted to take a minute and say I am glad you’re alive and kicking. I hope you and yours are well. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

    Very Respectfully,
    Patrick Whalley

    Like

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