How did I get here?
I found myself sitting in a hospital in Phoenix Arizona talking to an emergency room doctor, a surgeon, and an insurance company on behalf of a person I didn’t know very well 24 hours ago. The person was Linda, she required surgery to set a broken humerus bone with a metal plate and two screws, and she was counting on me to help.
Going back in time a few weeks… My team nominated 7 people to win an award for doing terrific work over the past year and demonstrating our strategic values. Linda was one of the winners and we were off to Arizona with 450 other winners across the company. The trip includes a morning with activities each person chooses and Linda and I were on a horseback ride through the desert. I chose this activity for a few reasons – the love of nature, an opportunity for photography, and an activity that felt fairly serene.
Halfway through the ride, I was enjoying all aspects and had taken a few photos that I hoped would turn out well when I could check them out on stable ground. And then things changed. Some range cattle ran past startling Linda’s horse and he ran off the trail, taking her through spiked bushes and then throwing her.
If there is a good way to land when being thrown from a horse, Linda did it. Landing on her side, taking the weight of the fall on her arm and protecting her head, neck, and spine, the fall resulted in a broken humerus bone and a bit of shock.
The cowboys got all the other riders and horses to continue on, tied up my horse, and we called for help. Little did I know this day would result in having 3 firemen and a cowboy carrying her out of the desert to a pick-up truck, and then transporting her to a waiting ambulance. We spent the day in the hospital where she received excellent care. The moment she asked me to help break the news to her husband at home, handle the insurance calls, and talk to the surgeon about her options was surreal. I had to walk that fine line of helping without making decisions for her, and listening to her requests without letting her shock keep her from doing the right thing. (When she said she didn’t want her family to know about the surgery because they would worry, I knew I had to push a little harder on the suggestion for her to call home.)
We are both back home and she will heal. Many of us wonder how we will handle an emergency situation. I’m sure we all do the best we can when our heart beats with compassion.
How did I get here? Indeed.
A nice photo from the ride before the emergency situation occurred…
And a shot of the heroes in action…