I realize that many people have heard half the story, or parts of the story but most don't know the whole saga.
So for the faint of stomach, skip to the end and know that Shel is going to be ok. If you are into the nitty gritty, read on.
Last Sunday (10 days ago), Shel and Eric went for a dirt bike ride. This was a confidence building ride because Eric is a nervous dirt biker and Shel wanted to spend some easy time with him so that Eric could continue to enjoy his outings with his dad.
They stuck to easy trails - flat, wide and fun. Apparently they had a BLAST together. The most fun ever. Finally, after a couple hours they turned towards home. Descended the mountain together and were riding on a flat, wide, gravel, public access road heading towards home.
Shel saw a herd of cows on his left side and as he passed them, a yearling bull jumped from the ditch on the right side and began to run parallel to him on his right. Shel realized that he needed to get in front of the cow.
So he ACCELERATED. Yes, ACCELERATED.
This is when the cow decided to jump in front of him to rejoin the herd on the left.
Shel bailed on his bike and tumbled. At this point, Eric thought the rolling black figure was a bear, when in fact it wasn't. It was his father.
The following is speculation but the truth as best we can tell. And Graphic. Be warned.
Shel was impaled by the foot peg of his bike. There was only a one inch round whole in his jeans and no other visible marks on his jeans.
The skin was torn in an arc across the knee cap and down the side of his leg approximately 13 inches.
The foot peg entered his leg 3 inches above his knee cap and "deboned" tissue from there, through 9 inches BELOW the knee cap. MIRACULOUSLY not destroying his knee cap or breaking any bones.
Where the muscle wasn't torn away from the bone, the skin and fat was lifted off the tissue, but not torn off. Think skinning a chicken - that was Shel's leg.
He was taken by ambulance on Sunday night to our local, small town hospital where they stapled him together and gave him oral anti-biotics. And SENT HIM HOME.
Tuesday his drain was removed.
Wednesday the infection started up. Thus began several days of hours and hours in the ER getting anti-biotics through IV. They removed 21mls of fluid from behind the kneecap on Wednesday but it showed no infection in the joint. This was a good thing, we thought.
On Saturday the infection was worse. Shel was noticeably sicker, weaker and in more pain. Again they tapped the kneecap and removed 21mls of fluid again. This time it showed vast amounts of infection.
The decision was made to send Shel by ambulance to a larger city with specialists and surgeons available. I followed along with two of the boys, arrangements were made for the 3rd to stay in our town, and the 4th had left that morning for hockey school.
While in the ER of the city hospital, Shel behind the doors of the locked down unit, I in the waiting room, I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing a horrible tragedy of a young man dying from a canoe accident. And his daughter being told in front of me that her daddy had died, all while I stood in the hall way. Please, if you are reading this, WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET.
Shel was taken for surgery at 9 pm that night. I waited for him and was able to spend some time with him at 1 am.
The report from the surgeon was that the injury was more severe than we had realized (see above the whole 9 inch deboning etc) and he thought it was "very cool". Thanks Mr. Doctor!! Anyways, he was able to remove all the dried blood, abscesses, etc and put Shel back together. He also did NOT drill the kneecap because in his estimation the infection was NOT in the joint.
We don't know why or what happened to the infection that the local doctor found. But we are giving God the glory on that one. FINDING the infection got Shel into surgery (which he needed) at a better hospital with a specialist. The specialist NOT finding the infection in the joint meant the surgery was far less invasive than it could have been.
Shel was giving "Nuclear" (in strength) antibiotics and was released from hospital on Tuesday. He needs to be seen by the surgeon again next Wednesday where a determination will be made as to whether or not he will need a second surgery to put things back together some more.
He has huge, massive, deep bruises on his hips, a couple cracked ribs and lots of healing road rash. He is drugged. Happy and trying to work from the couch.
And best of all, he is alive.