J Tree Accident - GoFundMe for Bernadette


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Messages 121 - 140 of total 148 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
Dec 8, 2018 - 09:58pm PT

Glad I could help, even itís just a tiny bit.

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

Itís 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. Iím 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 - weíve done hundreds of pitches together in Joshua Tree, Idyllwild, Eldo, and in the Valley. We hadnít 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. Iíve 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 wasnít 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 didnít 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 Ďmemoryí from September. Iíve 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 couldnít 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, Ďsay 5 words that start with the letter Aí 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. Whoís the president? ĎI donít want to knowí ;) I was aware I wasnít properly answering their questions. Some things just didnít 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 didnít 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 havenít 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.

Jingus Newroutaineer
Feb 12, 2019 - 09:39am PT
Thanks so much for that update, Bernadette. The Super Topo community is with you all the way through your rehab and beyond. <3

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.

Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 12, 2019 - 12:56pm PT
Great to hear from you, Bernadette! Your writing style and content seems to be a good indicator of your brain being on the mend. Very, very happy to see that.

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Feb 12, 2019 - 01:13pm PT
Thanks for the update Bernadette.
Best wishes on your continuing recovery,

Trad climber
JTree & Idyllwild
Feb 12, 2019 - 01:57pm PT
Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery and healing up well! Hope to see you out and about at Joshua Tree soon.

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 12, 2019 - 02:08pm PT
Thank you Bernadette, great testimony to your resilient spirit. With all the rain, the spring should be beautiful in JT. Lots of flowers in the desert for you to enjoy.

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2019 - 02:27pm PT
Congratulations on your continuing recovery. My stepson, Will M-S, said you were looking much improved the last time he saw you.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

Out Of Bed
Feb 12, 2019 - 02:33pm PT
A wish from me & mine for you
a prayer and a song,
I do not need to explain MORE I HOPE?
I can
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
As much as the way the two are the same, I hope you see that with time you will come to be the second one
Credit: Gnome Ofthe Diabase
Both are Beautiful Both are deep and sensitive both are clear.
Be clear, if there is anything that you ever need;
if that train ride haunts you, reach out others are here for you.

Social climber
Feb 12, 2019 - 02:43pm PT
hey there say, bernadette... wow, thanks for sharing the update...

we DO still think of you... even those of us that do not know you...

i had a quilt for you, a small one, but, never got a newer address, so just put it aside... but, i sure tried, >:D<

keep getting well...
and we will are still all in your corner...


say, gnome ofthe diaabase,say, THAT was a very
sweet post, there, for bernadette...
Messages 121 - 140 of total 148 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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