4th of July Climbing Epic

Greetings, blog readers! I apologize for the lack of posts lately; a lot has been going on in my life these past few weeks.

Tori, thank you so much for setting up this new blog! I really appreciate the time you spend on the website.I hope to be in touch with you soon.

After coming home from the Transplant Games, I had to sleep a lot to recover from all the excitement and activity. But on the 4th of July weekend, I headed to Mammoth Lakes, which is on the other side of Yosemite.Howard, Eva and I rode together for the six-hour drive, and met Dave and Mark at the condo.

On the first night in town, we ran into Hannah and Lucas, from our home gym in Belmont! We all headed out to climb at a spot called Al’s Garage the next day. It was extremely hot, and the approach was a short but very steep hike, walking up dirt piles and scrambling up rocks, sometimes climbing at a 45 degree angle.

When I arrived, Lucas had already set up a 5.11a, and I jumped at the chance to do a challenging climb on top-rope. Next to me, Dave was lead-climbing a 5.10b, and had come to a crux…looking around for a handhold, and then all of a sudden–a BIG fall! He swung out from the rock in an arc, and slammed into the wall–his leg stuck straight out–shattering his ankle! We called Search and Rescue, and when they arrived with a stretcher about two hours later, 20 people helped carry him out. SAR took him to the local hospital. We all packed up and headed to the hospital, too.

He had emergency surgery that night. Things seemed to be going okay, although Dave was in pain. While I was in the hospital, I checked my oxygen saturation level. It was 90%, precariously low. I decided to wait to see what happened. At 90%, most doctors prescribe supplemental oxygen.

The next day I spent with Dave in the hospital, keeping him company. He was tired from surgery, but recovering okay. Then I checked my saturation level; it was 85%! I had a choice of checking myself into the hospital as a patient and arranging for supplemental oxygen, or leaving the area (an elevation of 8000′) as soon as possible.

That night, I left with Hannah and Lucas, and we enjoyed a long, but relaxing ride through Yosemite National Park. We stopped at Olmsted Point and took pictures of the sunset and Yosemite Valley in the background. We arrived back at home at 1 a.m.

Meanwhile, Dave was having further troubles after the surgery, and was airlifted to Kaiser hospital in Redwood City, near his home. It turned out that he was having acute kidney failure! Now the broken ankle was the least of his problems.

After two weeks in the hospital and some dialysis treatments, Dave made it through. He is now recovering at his home in Redwood City, and learning to walk on crutches.

If anyone would like to send a card, please let me know.

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