Part 6 of The Man Who Fell: "The Spirit is Willing..."To catch up, click on parts 1, 2, 3, 4 , and 5.
What I find incredible is that George “healed” almost completely on his own, but did he really? The army never treated him, never provided any real physical therapy and never even set a single bone. He found out much later--long after his discharge--that he had sustained a nasty green stick fracture to his right femur. (note: the sample photo of a greenstick fracture is of the lower leg) Instantly, he lost two and ½ inches of height. This is due to his vertebrae mashing together, as did the bones in his hips, knees and ankles.
Obviously, his brain came loose in its “housing” resulting in all kinds of brain function problems over the years, mostly to his short term memory. All his tendons, muscles, blood vessels, and organs ripped, tore, and hemorrhaged, as did every bit of connective tissue. The organs of his central body cavity ripped loose from their moorings and ended up in a painful jumble in the pit of his belly where they still sit unrepaired to this day. Even his heart is not where it should be having shifted in his chest.
His femoral arteries, the big ones that run down into the legs through the big pelvic bones were so badly damaged that they are now completely closed. Over the years his body developed alternate vessels around them. This reduced blood flow has caused his lower limbs to atrophy and weaken.
George gets a chuckle every time he has a CAT scan or an X-ray done. It doesn’t matter what part of his body they look at, there’s always something remarkable to see. Essentially, he is one big internal lesion. Every joint shows space narrowing (to say the least!) and extreme damage, and none of his organs are where they should be. What does upset him though, is the reaction he gets whenever he tells the medical people what caused the injuries—inevitably, they voice disbelief. No one, especially civilian medical personnel, can believe that a man can fall almost unimpeded from 1250 feet and live; and George does NOT like being called a liar (especially by the VA!).
Because his mind would no longer consistently record the days or even the minutes, George can’t tell you today exactly how long he spent recovering at Womack Army Hospital that summer of ’61. To him, it felt like no more than 3 to 4 days instead of the more likely 3 to 4 months he actually spent mending there.
fire of ’72, or maybe they are just misplaced in the huge archives building called NPRC. The doesn’t care why they can’t find them; once the records are lost it then becomes the veteran’s responsibility to prove his conditions resulted from active service.
actually gave George a difficult time when he first claimed his condition back in the ‘70s. Mostly because once again, no one could believe what happened to him. And over the years his injuries have become worse and worse until now he is practically an invalid, although still the tough Green Beret, you’d never guess the extent of his physical problems if you met him.
That was the appreciation he got for crashing into the ground and living!
Continue to part 7, the final installment, and learn the shocking details of what finally happened to "The Man Who Fell..."
Labels: The Man Who Fell