J Tree Accident - GoFundMe for Bernadette


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Sport climber
Oct 14, 2018 - 07:44am PT
Shoot me an email if you are looking for visiting / mailing address.


Thank again for everyone who has been helping to support Bern. She's doing a lot better.

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Oct 23, 2018 - 12:20am PT

Social climber
Oct 23, 2018 - 12:27am PT
hey there say, Rudder... thanks...
say, liz... am emailing you... for address...
still working on the quilt...

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 23, 2018 - 02:42am PT
I ran into Vicky and Khanom (Eric) in the BofA in Merced this aft. They're planning on coming down from Tuolumne County to visit/help out their old friend Bernadette.

Vicky owns property down there (rental income), so they've known her long-term. This is what good friends are all about.
Go Hopping Rabbits!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Oct 23, 2018 - 01:54pm PT
Recent updates:

8. (10/14) I saw Bern for the first time yesterday since the day before the accident. I was surprised and excited to see how much she has recovered. She is determined to get better and with her grit and the continued support of this amazing community, I know we will get there. It'll still be a long road, but we are well on our way.

9. (10/17) Please reach out if you’d like to visit. Bern perks up every time someone new walks in the door. Much love to everyone. Her progress is fantastic.

10. (10/21) Friends,
Each day, as many of you have visited can see, Bern continues to make huge leaps of progress both cognitively and physically. If you do have some time this week and are in the Southern CA area, please come and show her some love. Email me for info and please just let me know what your connection is to Bern.
Thank you!

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
Nov 3, 2018 - 10:27am PT
Great news all, Bern has been released to go home.

I don’t know her, but have followed closely and wish her the best!

Trad climber
Upland, CA
Nov 3, 2018 - 11:53am PT
I hesitate to post anything at all, since before her accident Bernadette was a stranger to me, but because she was in a rehab facility near my house, and a couple of hours away from her home and friends, I did stop by to visit her a couple of times before her release.

She did seem to me to be doing great! I'm so happy she has been able to go home to Joshua Tree to continue her recovery with the support of her family and her many local friends there.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Dec 8, 2018 - 08:09pm PT
Just got an update from GoFundMe...apparently Bernadette wrote this herself:

From Bern: I just learned that this fundraiser happened and I am full of love and gratitude for all your support. Thank you very much. The 3 month mark since my accident is soon and I am now at home in Joshua Tree continuing to rehab and heal. Thankfully I am out of the wheelchair and now hobbling around with the help of a footboot. The cast has been removed from my left arm and it is getting stronger. The rest of the broken stuff (use your imagination) is getting better as well. I am unable to drive, so I have been recruiting family and friends to get me around. Been up to the park a few times and took a few of my first 'walking" steps in Section 6. Feels good to be in the desert.


The Good Places
Dec 8, 2018 - 08:54pm PT
hooray! happy to see progress for Ms Regan!
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Dec 9, 2018 - 07:16am PT
Oh, this is great news! Heal well, Bernadette.


Trad climber
The state of confusion
Dec 9, 2018 - 10:27am PT
That's AWESOME, Bernadette! Keep up the good work!

Ice climber
Dec 9, 2018 - 03:07pm PT
I am so happy for ur fortitude

Trad climber
Bend, OR
Dec 9, 2018 - 05:32pm PT
What great news to read, keep up the hard work!
Spencer Lennard

Trad climber
Williams, Oregon
Jan 11, 2019 - 09:18am PT
So glad to hear that Bernadette is healing. Keep up the great progress!
bernadette regan

joshua tree, ca
Feb 12, 2019 - 09:29am PT
Well, people keep asking me what happened - so here's my version - from the rocks to the heli to the hospital to home. Thanks to everyone for all the continued support and good wishes. Be well, bernadette

It’s been about 5 months since this happened. I am better, but still healing, and I still have no memory of September 13 or the month after that. I’m going to write down what I have been told happened, but the reality of it is unclear to both me and my climbing partner. My partner and I have been climbing together inconsistently for the last 10 years - we’ve done hundreds of pitches together in Joshua Tree, Idyllwild, Eldo, and in the Valley. We hadn’t climbed together at all last season but had reunited for one day at Eldo over the summer.

I have been climbing in Joshua Tree since 2004 and have been a climbing ranger here since 2009. Since 2009, I have spent at least 8 months a year climbing in the park probably 4-5 days a week for both fun and work reasons. I’ve helped with 60+ climbing related rescues. The point of telling you this is that I am no stranger to climbing or accidents in Joshua Tree. Apparently, accidents can happen to yourself at your home crag.

Some people think I had some jet lag that may have contributed to my accident. On Sept 12 I flew from Rome to Palm Springs. My work season wasn’t going to start until the end of the month, so I had some more time to play.

This is what I've been told: On September 13 my partner and I went to Hemingway late in the afternoon. He lead Overseer and I followed. Our plan was to toprope the 2 lesser known climbs to the left of White Lightning. Since that section of the wall is about 35-40m tall, the plan was to belay from the top, climber lowering into the pitch.

After he set the anchor, we fixed the rope with a figure 9. He then rapped and climbed a pitch, then I took a turn.

Our rope was fixed to a gear anchor. One side of the rope reached the ground, the other was 40 feet shy. From what I have been told, I rappelled off the short side of the rope and then fell 40 feet onto the rocks. Nobody else was climbing at Hemingway that afternoon and partner heard something but didn’t see it happen. He then rappelled, found me, and started tending to me and getting help for a rescue.

Per usual, I was wearing a helmet. Some reports say I landed on my head, but I probably didn't. My right leg absorbed most of the fall.

2 local guides were nearby and provided me with first aid. JOSAR, NPS, and town emergency services responded. I was put in a litter, carried down the bouldery talus to the flatter sandy desert floor, wheeled to the pavement, then loaded into a helicopter. I was flown to Palm Springs hospital.

I spent the next 3+ weeks in intensive care on a lot of drugs. Thinking I was on a train in Vermont that was filled with empty beds and me choosing my own bed over and over again is my only ‘memory’ from September. I’ve been told that I was conscious and talking to people every day often asking to go home. Apparently, I was in a lot of pain and maybe swearing a little more than I usually do. The simple summary of my injuries is that I broke my right foot, tibia, fibula, and knee; my lower left arm, a bunch of ribs that punctured some stuff, and my head. My brain got knocked around pretty good. I had 3 surgeries on my limbs. More will likely happen.

My real memories start as I was loaded into an ambulance with my mom riding in the front seat. They drove me 100 miles to where I spent another month at a clinic.

I can remember all the time in this clinic, but I was confused. I needed to sort things out.

Why was I in a wheelchair with metal sticking out of my foot? Why was my leg always elevated? Why is there a cast on my right arm? There was a big scabby new scar from my knee to my foot. Every time they checked my pulse it was over 90+ - feeling my heart beat heavy like that all the time weirded me out. Noise bugged me and I always asked my friends to wheel me outside and they would. Food never seemed to interest me, until someone started bringing donuts and coffee from a local shop. People always encouraged me to sleep, but I couldn’t figure out how to with the constant noise 24 hours a day.

I believed I was there due to my broken leg and casted arm. Sometimes, I would be asked questions like, ‘say 5 words that start with the letter A’ and I would just shrug my shoulders. Then they would ask my niece and nephews names, and I could repeat some of them, but not all of them. Who’s the president? ‘I don’t want to know’ ;) I was aware I wasn’t properly answering their questions. Some things just didn’t compute, sometimes sarcasm seemed like more fun. After a week of unanswerable questions, I realized that the clinic was more for my brain than for my broken bones.

There were 65 other patients in this clinic. I have since learned this is the same place Scott Cosgrove mended at. RIP. I wanted the 3-4 hours of PT and physiologist help each day, but I didn’t want to live around the noise and heartache of 65 other broken people. I asked every day to leave, tried to persuade my friends/family to take me home. But the docs kept insisting that I stay. After 4 weeks, my mom returned. I thought for sure she was on the same page as the doctors and would keep me there forever. Thankfully, my mom was ready to get me home. Turns out with all that help I had done some healing at the clinic.

Being home in Joshua Tree the last few months, with the continued friend and family help has been rejuvenating. I can now tell you a thousand words that start with any letter of the alphabet. I haven’t lost any of my own history (minus September) either. I feel very fortunate, though the incident still puzzles me.

Doctors are making suggestions and more surgery is likely in my future. But right now, I wear 2 sneakers, keep hobbling around and do lots of PT.

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Feb 12, 2019 - 10:16am PT
Thank you for the update Bernadette. We've never ment but I followed this thread on ST. We can all learn from a story like yours and I hope for a full recovery mentally, physically and spiritually. May the stoke of possible future endeavors and adventures and the rallying of friends and family guide you in the months and years to come.

steve s

Trad climber
Feb 12, 2019 - 10:23am PT
Heal up Bernadette. You will get better!

Trad climber
Feb 12, 2019 - 10:24am PT
Good to see your post and your telling what you can. Great to see that you've gotten so much of your cognitive function back!
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Feb 12, 2019 - 11:23am PT
So glad to read your post and learn of your great progress in healing.

Randy Vogel

Social climber
Lida Junction
Feb 12, 2019 - 11:46am PT
Very glad to hear you are getting better.
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