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Lucky to be alive

October 03, 2008|By KIM REECHER, Hagerstown

On Sept. 15, 2001, I set off for a cross-country trip with my now ex-husband. The first week was fabulous - visited Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Devils Tower, and Yellowstone to name a few.

The afternoon of Sept. 23, we entered into Grand Teton National Park, set up our campsite and decided to go down to West Ox Bend to view the Snake River with the gorgeous Tetons in all their fall glory. It was a photographer's haven and the area was very crowded.

Unfortunately for me, a couple people were not watching where they were going and I was struck by a Suburban (who was struck in the rear by a Jetta).

I was caught up underneath of the Suburban and dragged about 20 to 30 feet on the pavement. I laid on the road surrounded by people for about 45 minutes until an ambulance could make it to the area from Jackson Hole.

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I was very lucky that day. I could have easily been killed.

I spent a week in intensive care at St. John's Hospital in Jackson Hole with a broken pelvis, broken tibia, collapsed lung, three broken ribs, ruptured spleen and road rash that created second-degree burns over most of my back and arms.

My parents arrived by mid-day on the 24th and we spent a week looking out the window of the hospital at the glorious blue sky and the magnificent mountains, while I awaited an OK to airlift me to the University of Maryland for my hip/pelvis surgery.

On Sept. 30, I was airlifted to Baltimore and my parents drove our vehicle back to Maryland. I had surgery on Oct. 2 and was transported to Washington County Hospital on Oct. 4 for rehab. I spent a week there under excellent care. I was released to come home on Oct. 12 (Just about the same time we had originally planned to arrive home from our original vacation schedule). I spent four months on a walker and it took over a year to be able to walk without a limp.

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