JEB is Hurt

Smit-Dog

Mi. Trail Riders
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Oct 28, 2001
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#1
Copied from another forum site...
John Brunsgaard, jeb on this and other sites, had an accident while clearing trails. Here's the story pulled from a fellow over at rec.motorcycles.dirt.

"Hi folks,

Last Friday, while cutting some trail, in preparation for the Theilman Trail Ride, our friend, John Brunsgaard (some of you know him as JEB) had an accident on an ATV.

Right now he's at Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN with seven (yes, seven) fractures in his hip. Right now, it appears that there will be no surgery. He was on morphine over the weekend while they evaluated and decided a course of action.

I got to talk to him yesterday and here's a brief summary of what happened: John was way up on a narrow ridge when the thing started tipping over (Honda Foreman). John has an eye for "challenging goat paths" and I expect this was no different. He stayed with it for a bit, hoping to ride it out, but wound up bailing off the low side into a ravine. The ATV hit him as it rolled down into the ravine and caused the injury.

Basically what happens at Theilman is that the Golden Eagles groom the trails both before and after the event -- making the trails pristine before and leaving them pristine for the horsey-people after. Of course this means picking up horse peoples garbage and stuff to make it pristine for the ride then checking every inch after. It takes weeks of preparation both before
and after.

The DNR around these parts appreciates the level of maintenence that the Golden Eagles provide in exchange for two weekend events... To achieve this level it's necessary to get back there with ATVs, with tools, to do the hand work on the miles and miles of horse trails - from which everyone benefits.

Once John was stabilized, sort of - at least carried out of the narrow ravine on a back-board, they moved John out to an open area and life-flighted him to the hospital. Laura, his wife, took on not only this emergency Friday night, but amazingly, was still helping at the event when I saw her Saturday evening. Tired, for sure. What a trooper she is!

On Saturday, Jon Kemnitz, Jim Olsen and I rode together, and had a great time on the trails. It would have been wasteful to miss. But it really was not the same without JEB, whom I always look forward to riding with. I know he would have enjoyed pushing us through some of the tighter new sections (that marred both sides of my bark-busters at the same time, tut-tut) as well as the1/2 mile baby-head rock hills (Up and down - no one
is neglected). Not to mention the sandy sections...(Texas Trail). And yeah, John, we found the really new stuff and crawled over the logs while wrenching the bars through the trees...)

It was hard not to notice the "encouraging" signage put up by, I assume, John and Jim E. Things like "this way for the real men" to go right, and left was "this way for lesser men and children or feeble." You could reasonably translate these pie-plate messages to "quagmire sand to the left" and "vertical rocks with roots to the right." Basically, either way promised some great riding.

If you want to get in touch with John, you can send me an email for a phone number. If you want to email him a note, here's an address with secret spam-proof code. The prognosis, as of now, is no riding for the rest of the year, no weight (at all) on his left leg for three months and certainly, no movement now.

Knowing what an active person John is, I expect he'll be going totally crazy with boredom be glad to hear from you guys and gals.

Get well, soon John. We've got riding to do.

jejbdontspam@att.net

Remove "dontspam."

Kurt"

John has e-mail enabled for this site so you can send your regards directly from here if you wish.
 

Patman

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#2
Hoping for a speedy recovery! :thumb:
 

Danman

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#4
Man, that sucks. I hope he heals up quick and has a full recovery.
 

Green Horn

aka Chip Carbone
N. Texas SP
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#5
Get well soon...
 

CR Swade

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#7
Get well John, see you at WUDI :thumb:
 

RM_guy

Scared of DirtWeek<BR>Club *********
Damn Yankees
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#9
That really sucks! Get better soon...
 

KiwiBird

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#13
Oooh bet that smarts!! Hope you heal up well Jeb.
 

jeb

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#14
Hi folks,
Thanks so much for the support and your thoughts. It's so nice to get all the support from all my friends, met and un-met.

Might as well back it up and start from the start. As the original post, we were working on getting the trails ready for our fall
TR. We were done with the normal trails but decided to put in a new
piece of trail that we'd never used. I had the club ATV with the
chainsaw and was headed into the trail behind the other guys cutting
as I went. I came around a blind corner and found myself in trouble.
It's a piece of single track running along the top of an 6'-8' deep
water erosion ditch, which is on the left. On the right side of the
trail is a small hillside at about 35+ degrees. The whole thing was at
a small downhill angle.

I climbed up on the high side of the ATV to keep at least 3 wheels on
the ground but I was afraid to use the brakes for fear of sliding off.
So the ATV was going like 1/2 mph. I was thinking "if it goes, I'll
just jump off on the high side". Hard to kick off of a rolling ATV,
though. Almost made it through but it rolled toward the end. I jumped
off the lowside hoping to get away from it but I ended up against the
far bank of the ditch laying on my left side. I turned just in time to
see the frame around the upside down quad (Honda Rubicon) smack me
square in the right hip just below the belt. I heard the bone break.
Kind of spooky.

I started yelling for help and guys came running. My legs didn't want
to work right and I had some pretty good cold sweats going. I had a
full 100oz Camelbak with ice and water so I was sucking hard on that,
which helped tremendously. I had a couple of club members drag me up
the ditch a bit and that's where I stayed for the next 1.5 hours or
so.

At first, I didn't want the guys to go for an ambulance/help as I was
hoping it wasn't as bad as it was. The club VP (I'm the current pres) didn't like that plan
much so he was gone pretty quickly to do the right thing. I was very
uncomfortable laying there in the dirt but many of the club members
showed up to keep vigil and help where they could. My wife had been
arrowing trails with me in the morning but had chosen to take a nap
when we'd gone out. Thanks goodness. She showed up shortly after word
reached camp.

A sheriff showed up after a while and gave me oxygen. Some local first
responders showed up soon after, all asking the same questions but not
really doing anything for me outside of starting to cut my clothes
off. I never lost consciousness nor did I ever loose any feeling or
the ability to move any extremities. I think the sheriff was impressed
that I was able to rattle of my DL number a little later under
morphine.

The helicopter male nurses finally showed with a backboard. They
started an IV and asked if I wanted morphine. Like I was going to say
no! First they tried to roll me to put the board under but after a few
ear splitting screams they put me back. They did a dead man lift and
slid the board under from down the ditch. That worked cool. Then they
handed my up out of the ditch to many eager hands and walked me the
1/2 mile or so to a DNR pickup truck waiting on the nearest Forest
Service road. They just kept rotating people in and never stopped
walking. They had to walk me down a nasty pure sand hill, too.

Once in the truck, they cut the rest of my clothes off and slowly,
thank God, drove me out to the main camping area. The chopper was
waiting but there was an ambulance there from a small town nearby,
too. FYI, I live in Rochester, MN. Home of the Mayo Clinic. I wanted
to be in Rochester getting care, not some little town. The helicopter
nurse asked if I had good insurance and I said yes so I took the
chopper ride. Pretty unexciting but fast.

I won't bore you with the hospital details. I was in Friday afternoon
and left late on Monday. 7 fractures of the hip and pelvis. Only one
is "load bearing" and it's on the left side. I can't put any weight on
that leg for 3 months. I can use the right leg all I want but it's
quite sore as 3 of the breaks are on that side, too. The doc explained
it this way. "I can tell you that you can use a leg with a badly
sprained ankle but you sure won't want to use it."

We rented a hospital bed, wheelchair, etc, bought a "platform" walker
and so I'm setup at home now. We had to have a transport company bring
me home in a stretcher and some of my club friends met them here to
get me upstairs and settled in.

My wife works from home and has been just awesome about taking care of
me. We've found ways to manage most of the pain but it's always there
right now. The best the pain gets is like laying on a really bad
bruise. That's way acceptable compared to the pain that I can get from
the load bearing break. That's one of those that cause an involuntary
scream, cold sweats, white face, etc. All the good stuff. My wife and
I have totally avoided that particular one since leaving the hospital
but it's still been a tough few days.

I get up on the walker about 3 times a day and live on pain pills.
Although I've gotten a bit longer between doses at times. I don't
think about taking the meds unless I have pain but I have pain most of
the time. I hope to be on crutches inside the first month but I'll
stay on them until early December once I get to that stage.

I had a return visit to the little house of horrors today, 9/15, as
they wanted to take another xray to make sure the bones were still
aligned/no surgery. What an ordeal. I had to get on my butt and scoot
slowly down the steps with the wife keeping my left leg straight and
then use the walker out to the car. The worst of it was the xray,
though. Hard, flat surface that I could not get flat on. Even getting
close to flat was excruciating pain. I thought I was going to pass out
and I'd just done all my pain meds before going. This thing is going
to take a long time to get over, me thinks.

Xray showed everything was cool. Got a 3rd pain med, handicap
stickers, 3 month out of work pass, script for crutches, etc. It'll be
a while before I go back, though. They said 2 weeks, I said "we'll
see".

Folks have been awesome. Lots of phone calls, cards, flowers, threads
like this one and emails, all of which mean so much to me. It just
makes it easier to know that folks are thinking about me and my wife.
If someone wants to know my address and/or phone numbers, just drop me
an email (my email address is jejb at att.net) and I'll send it along.
I just don't want to post it but I'd love to hear from anyone. Heck,
I'm not doing much!

Lessons have been learned. I had time before the ATV went over to get
off. I will not pass up that opportunity again. We can always get it
out of the ditch later. I do a lot of trail work on that ATV and most
of it is very benign but I will take even fewer risks in the future. I
plan to get one of those Pro Moto Billet rear fender chainsaw carrying
deals so I can transport the saw into these single track areas without
taking the ATV's.

I have a lot to be thankful for, too. My injuries could've been much
worse. I was afraid I'd broken off the top of my femur (the ball and
socket part). That can be real bad news. Also, I'm so happy my wife
wasn't with me as she normally rides along on all of those kinds of
trips. All of the bones stayed lined up so no surgery was needed and I
didn't catch anything in the hospital. The company I work for is very
generous with sick time, benefits and understanding so no worries
there.

I will be a very good boy and not rush this. At this point, any weight
on my left leg gives me a LOT of pain anyway so it's a no brainer to
follow orders. But I am looking forward to crutches.

Thanks to everyone for every post, email and the flowers. I'm touched
by all of it.
 

Lew

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#15
Jeb, glad to hear things are on the mend. Sounds like you have alot of good support and a wonderfull wife. Keep us posted on your progress. I hope the pain subsides soon.
Best Wishes
Lew