TurningWheels

Thursday, May 08, 2003
 
Cojones of steel
Climber Who Cut Off Arm Discusses Ordeal

The wimp that is writing this cannot imagine what this guy went through. At what point would I decide to cut a limb off? Are we all given that kind of survival instinct, or does it only exist in certain people? Cannot even begin to imagine....

On the fourth day, a day after his first attempt to cut his arm, Ralston went through the motions of applying a tourniquet, laid out bike shorts to absorb the blood and got his gear ready for a quick getaway. He worked out how to get through the bone with his "multi-tool"-type knife, made duller by futile attempts to chip away at the rock.

"Basically, I got my surgical table ready," he said.

On the fifth day, he summoned up all his technique and nerve:

"I was able to first snap the radius and then within another few minutes snap the ulna at the wrist and from there, I had the knife out and applied the tourniquet and went to task. It was a process that took about an hour," he said.

Ouch? Ouch!!

Even after his excruciating operation, what Ralston had to do to survive required skills beyond the abilities of most. On May 1, he crawled through a narrow, winding canyon, rappelled down a 60-foot cliff and walked some six miles down the canyon.

Couldn't even do that with all limbs in tact. Sheesh, I freak out at having to cross a stream. Unbelievable.

For reasons he wouldn't explain, Ralston withheld some details of his story. A publicist told reporters there would be no follow-up interviews soon and no interviews whatsoever with the doctors who treated him.

Hmm.... publicist. How about a made-for-TV movie within.... say.... 2 months? Hey, this guy has earned whatever he can get for the rights to his story.




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