The impact was loud...too loud. His head stayed down. One look. Not good. This is more than just wind knocked out. This was a broken back. Priorities switched immediately into rescue mode. We have to get out. Now.
How did this happen? Just over a week ago Isaac and Dane ran a low volume 70 footer in Tennessee with no injuries. We've fallen in all sorts of ways off things way bigger than Big Boy's 30 feet of freefall, yet Isaac knows that he's bad off. His line looked just like so many others that we've had here. He landed in the same spot as always. His posture was good, spine rolled forward to spread the impact. Damn. But his bow was up. I can't imagine the impact being dispersed in a good way with the bow up.
He's really hurting, but he can walk. That's huge. So dangerous making moves with a spine injury, but its cold. Snowing. He looks straight at me and says, "This is bad. We have to get outta here bro. Fast." The other boys in our dream team crew are all portaging as fast as they can. If we need backup it's coming. But Isaac is capable and needs out now. Hypothermia won't help us here.
I give Steve and Dane a signal that says, "Isaac is broken. We're out. Good lines boys." Crying out in pain with every slip, Isaac toughens it out. Mans up with each step. It's a long way up to the trail, over slick goopy ground. "Carry you?" I ask. No that hurts too much. Your arm over my shoulder? No that twists his spine. All I can do is keep talking to him, holding his hips or his pfd. A rock rolls underneath his right foot and I watch the shock waves arc through him as he lets out a deep growl. He's starting to go pale. "One step at a time homie you're doing great." He keeps asking "Why now?!" To this I have no answer.
Back to the truck. Rattling out the 4x4 road, I'm holding him tight into his seat and trying not to rock it around too much. C'mon ibuprofen, kick in. Awful seeing him in so much pain. Hospital. As fast as possible. We're now surrounded by good people in the ER. The doc comes out and confirms our fears. Compression fractures in T7 and T8.
Smiling occasionally, Isaac is already planning his recovery. He'll be back. Mark my words. Isaac Levinson will be back. Heal up fast brotha. Love ya.