DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Trauma Survival

Amputee

Chris Manning

Man falls 50+ Feet

March 26 2017 The day that changed the rest of my life. I went to Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho to see the amazing waterfall. I went to the edge of the cliff to get a better view from where we were at. I then turned around and that’s when it turns into a blur. I was falling and remember hearing my phone ring. Then when I made impact my phone rang again. Thankfully I was conscious, it was my wife I answered the phone and told her I had fallen. I needed help she didn’t believe me at first, but soon realized I need help. She called 9-11 and Life Flight was on its way. The 1st person to respond was an off duty E.M.T. What are the odds? I was in critical condition but I didn’t realize it, as adrenaline was in full effect. I was stabilized and loaded into the helicopter. They flew me to the nearest Trauma Hospital (Saint Alphonsus). It was there that the true nature of my injuries was identified. I spent 18 days in the I.C.U. intubated. I had sustained over 23 injuries which included 11 broken ribs, broken humerus, 3 fractured vertebrae, shattered scapula and pelvis, fractured knee cap and multiple lacerations. In those 18 days, I underwent 14 surgeries to repair all the damage. That included putting my intestines back inside me. I then spent 3 weeks in rehab. That is where I first learned of my Brachial Plexus Injury. I was in a back brace, couldn’t use my left arm and couldn’t walk. I was in a wheelchair with one hand and one leg. That’s a whole new adventure. I spent multiple hours a day learning a new way of life. My Occupational Therapist (O.T.) taught me how to get dressed with an essentially dead arm that had no function.

Fast Forward

After getting released from the hospital, I was still in the wheelchair with the back brace. Spent the next several months seeing multiple specialists, flying to different cities seeing my options on saving my arm. With each specialist they could never give me a straight forward answer. Then one said, “ Well with 11 broken ribs most being on the side we would transfer nerves from, it would be a long shot of it actually working.” Those were the words I needed to hear. Soon after all of that my subclavian artery kept clotting, my vascular surgeon thought it would be in my best interest to go forward with an amputation. He didn’t want to do an unnecessary surgery to transplant a vein from my leg to my arm just to have it taken anyway. So that brings us to December 11, 2017. That was the day I had my arm Amputation scheduled for. We went in and were unsure the length I would be left with or if I would have enough blood flow for it to heal. The surgery itself was quick. My wife was going to send my dad in to see me and the nurse said: “ Oh, we are putting him in the wheelchair, you guys are ready to go home.” I had an Elbow Disarticulation, which is through the elbow. So I still have a full humerus. My life has changed dramatically but I wouldn’t change it for a thing. I’m beyond thankful to be given a second chance at life. I’ve met many amazing people because of my trauma that I might have never met so for that I’m Thankful. But most of All I'm Extremely Thankful to my FAMILY AND FRIENDS for being here through all of it.

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