Or how to utterly destroy your face…
Well, here is the long story with all the gory details…
Boating started out pretty normal Wednesday, the 18th of July. I jumped onto a boat that had been rented for the Management Retreat at Pirates Cove. We rode out and prepared for a day of tubing, and wakeboarding. Two tubes were inflated and, and the first group got into the water. After going for a little while, we decided to have a line change, and the five that were in the water hopped into the boat, and the five of us that were in the boat hopped into the tube.
It started out great, we went left and right, we went up and down. We got moving pretty quick, and the tube that I was in, went right over the top of the other tube. At this time, the guy that was behind me cracked his forehead right into the back of my head. He fell off the tube, and into the water. I was pretty sore but held on. The guy who fell out said that he was blacking out and that he might have a concussion, so he hopped back into the boat, and another guy jumped back on. This time when we took off, it was with a little more speed than before. The boat’s speed climbed, and it planed out. My speed estimates were somewhere around 25-30 miles an hour.
This is when it got a little crazy
As we were flying down the water, the driver took us into a sharp left turn. In the tube, we flew out to the right side of the wake and then flipped over. At some point during this flip, I caught the knee and hit knocked me bad. When I came up out of the water, I felt my teeth and could tell that I was in bad shape. I thought that I had lost a lot of teeth, but it turns out that wouldn’t happen for another week. I did however manage to somehow rip off half of my lower lip in the process too. There was a large gash running under my chin and several small lacerations around my lip.
I hopped back into the boat, along with the other injured people. The dude whose knee I hit had a huge gash that was surely from my teeth. We rode into the marina and waited at the dock for an ambulance to arrive.
When we arrived at the dock, the local Forest Rangers were contacted, and they proceeded to call for an ambulance. After a few minutes of waiting, I heard the sirens and headed out of the boat. It turned out just to be the Rangers, but they were anxious to help. I had left the boat with no shoes or shirt, so, as can be imagined I was getting hot standing on the baking concrete of the boat ramp. They instructed me to go and sit on the dock.
While sitting there, I started to feel a little queasy, presumably from all of the blood that had gone down my throat, and I started throwing up all over the place. The Rangers thought that it was imperative that I have an IV placed to get some fluids back into my system. They placed the IV in my left arm, and let it drip for a few minutes. It was quickly realized that it wasn’t dripping right, so they went after the cause. At the same time, I looked down to see a golfball sized bubble of saline solution in my arm… They decided to start over, this time on my right arm. After feeling the prick, and hearing them grimace, I looked to see my right arm now covered in blood. They got it in, but not without letting me bleed all over Lake Mead. After nearly 45 minutes of waiting, a backboard showed up, and they decided to strap me in. My neck and back were feeling fine, but I complied with their every request. In the process, the IV was ripped from my arm, thankfully permanently. The person who received the concussion, we were loaded into the same ambulance and were taken to Henderson to the hospital.
It was at the hospital that I met some of the friendliest, most caring staff ever. The ER doctor quickly brought in a well qualified Plastic Surgeon who stitched me up great. In the process, I did have to undergo what he called “Nerve Stoppers” which deadened the area around my lips.
I have never understood why it takes so much pain to heal something…
At this time some of the upper management was gracious enough to fly my wife down to be with me. It was very thoughtful, and I really appreciate it. The next day after seeing an oral surgeon in Vegas, we flew back to Utah. It was good to be back home.
This has been a really traumatic experience, and there have been a lot of people who have been by my side helping me every step of the way. It will be a long recovery, but true friends and family will stay by my side. Thank you to all that have helped, I appreciate it so much.
Thanks for posting your story, Jake.
Wishing you a fast recovery and good luck with the new teeth when you get ’em!
Oh Jake–I didn’t realize how bad your accident was! I’m so sorry you had to not only bleed all over Lake Mead, but also go through all this pain. We’re praying for a quick recovery!
You are a lucky boy. In the long run there will be some good come out of this. I could not love you more.