How long were you in the hospital?

All told I would be hospitalized for two months following the accident.  That breaks down to 2 weeks at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, 2 weeks at Hermann Hospital in Houston and 1 month at Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR).

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In Quincy they stabilized my condition so I could be moved to Houston.  They basically set my legs in external fixators, pulled my jaw out, wired my jaw shut and stabilized it with an external fixator, put my left elbow back together with an internal fixator (a plate) and ensured I was in no pain at all.

By the time I was leaving Quincy, all the nurses and doctors were on a high right along with me.  I was the worst traumatic accident they had ever experienced, and I survived!  I was on a puree food diet and talking (if I covered my trachea tube with my finger).

Once I arrived in Houston, I had world famous surgeon 'Red' Duke heading up my team.   And what a team it was.  They poked, prodded, x-rayed, consulted, ingested, digested and regurgitated every broken bone in my body and were ready to start moving along.

And word got around the hospital quick about my skydiving accident and I was hearing, "You must have a guardian angel," or "God is watching out for you!" all the time from the nurses, assistants, x-ray techs, orderlies, doctors and, of course, friends and family.

In Houston, my broken legs (supercondylar open fractures) were set with lots of bone graft from cadavers and plates and screws.

You can see in this picture from Quincy that my legs are set with the external fixators drilled into my shins and thighs.  Once repaired, I was fitted with leg braces which kept my legs straight.  No casts!

This kinda sucked, because I was in a wheelchair for 3 months, one of which my legs were always straight out in front of me!  You try to maneuver into a bathroom, or turn around in a hallway like that.  It takes some getting used to.  Damn, the whole thing required getting used to!

Once I was done with the first surgeries, I was moved to TIRR, where they taught me how to live my life from a wheelchair.  Once I satisfied their conditions for release, I moved into an apartment with my best bud, Rabbitt.