Accident recovery is a long, arduous process

Discussion in 'Incident and Near Miss Discussions' started by John Sandford, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. John Sandford

    John Sandford Frequent Poster

    Here's an article that we can all learn from. This man fell while he was dismantling a tower. It will not help us to learn why the accident occurred, but it does hit home as to what can happen when an accident does occur. We hear of accidents where the climber didn't die, but it is seldom that there is a follow up like this one some seven years later. Be safe out there!

    In the Wake ?
    A courageous construction worker and recent grad
    By: Cori Frayer
    Issue date: 2/22/07

    On November 23, 1999, Christopher Glenn Morgan's life changed forever.

    Morgan, a 2006 construction management graduate, was dismantling an old 120-foot tower. It was just another day at work for Morgan, until a bolt in the tower sheered, sending him and 20 feet of the tower plummeting to the ground from 40 feet above.

    "I landed on my feet and broke all my bones," Morgan said. "Thankfully, I was the only worker on the tower that day."

    Several months later, he would decide to have one of his legs amputated.

    "People think they'll be a freak or a loser without a leg," Morgan said. "I tell them, 'Hey, look at me, I'm a frickin' pimp. I run like the wind, BMX bike, wakeboard, rock climb, even horseback ride."

    For Morgan, the amputation made his desire to engage in sports greater.

    Last year his ambition paid off when he was contacted by College Park Industries, a leader in prosthetic foot manufacturing. The company asked Morgan to wear their product in the first annual O&P Extremity Games in Orlando, Florida.

    "The Extremity Games are like the X Games for one-leggers," Morgan said.

    Morgan competed in three of the four events, including BMX biking, rock climbing and wakeboarding. He quickly became known as the iron man of the competition, as he was the only participant competing in three events, and proudly took home the third place medal in the BMX competition.

    When he fell from the tower, Morgan shattered every bone from his feet to his ankles, from his knees to his back and from his arms all the way to his thumbs. Yet through all the pain and agony, Morgan could not help but think, would he will ever be able to tear it up on his BMX bike or snowboard again?

    "I thought I would never be able to do anything active again. I thought I would never run again, that I would never be able to chase my kids around," he said.

    After undergoing countless reconstructive surgeries, Morgan developed osteomyelitis, a bone infection that eats away the bone and tissue, from the multiple screws and plates that fused his ankle at a 90 degree angle.

    "I was extremely limited and walked like a gimp," Morgan said, dragging his left leg, imitating how he walked with a fused ankle.

    All that changed on February 29, 2000. Because of the severity of his osteomyelitis, and the unfortunate mishap of breaking his fused ankle while dancing on his wedding night, Morgan made the decision to have his leg amputated at mid-calf.

    "Now I get 8 feet of air on a wakeboard," Morgan said. "If I knew back when I fell that I could be active again, I would have cut it off right away. If you want to be active, you need a prosthetic limb."

    Today, Morgan puts his wife, Tanya, and two sons, 2-year-old Kizer and 10-week-old Andin first, but finds great satisfaction in inspirationally speaking to injured hospital patients contemplating amputation.

    He also continued his career in construction.

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