Extreme Sports Skateboarding

God Damn Broken Arms

It’s ironic because I’m the one that feels like I’m having a rough go right now, but it’s the people around me that are in pain. 26 years I’ve skateboarded, and I’ve been out here in British Columbia since 1998. When you’re at skate parks a lot, you’re gonna see lots of people get hurt, and unfortunately, I always seem to be the one who helps them.

In the past 2 weeks I’ve had to deal with 3 arm injuries with kids, one was just a really bad sprained wrist, last Friday was a dislocated elbow on a 7 year old, and today this mountain biker decided to break both bones halfway up his forearm in Maple Ridge. All 3 of these kids were crying, half out of pain and half out of fear of not really knowing what was wrong with them. I’d have to say that the 7 year old kid, Isaac, was the toughest out of all 3 of these guys. The other 2 were 11 & 14. This little dude had his elbow completely dislocated and when I told him that, he asked me what the word “dislocated” meant. That’s how young he is. When I explained to him what was wrong with his arm and what the doctors were going to do to fix it, he got very nervous. Understandable. But the part I’ll remember forever was how no matter what, he was going to tough it out. He was one tough kid. We had to call the ambulance for him and when the paramedic asked Isaac if he could cut off his shirt to see his arm, he got no for an answer. This shirt was awesome, I wouldn’t have wanted to cut it either. And original E.T. shirt with the slogan “It’s All Good in the Hood.” So Isaac toughed it out and the ambulance attendant took off his shirt the hard way. Awesome!!

It’s always really painful for me to be the one providing people with the first aid they need and helping them to get to the next stage of getting assistance because I think of my own kid when I’m looking at them, and I think of all the times I’ve been in that much pain myself. I remember when I was 17 years old we were skating these gaps behind the CIBC in Barrie and my board shot out on me when I landed. I flipped over upside down and put out my hand to try to stop my face from hitting the ground. Of course, my arm bent straight backwards, dislocating my elbow, and then I hit my face anyway. I jumped up, screamed and shook my arm in pain – bad idea. The bones ended up locking back together with my upper arm and lower arm completely reversed. I just looked at Clayton and Malcolm that I was with and said Hospital…

It took 5 doctors and a lot of medication to put my arm back together the way it should be. They had to knock me out completely, pull my arm apart and then twist it back to normal. Damn I’d hate to be a doctor in the hospital. But they did get it together, and it works fine. And all these kids in the past 2 weeks are gonna be alright too. We have an amazing medical system in Canada, and I am very thankful for it. I’ve had a lot of bad injuries over my lifetime, and I’ve helped out so many people when they go down – broken bones, dislocations, concussions, all kinds of stuff. The biggest thing I think about whenever I see someone in need is what would I hope the other people around me would be doing if that was me lying there? Or my kid lying there? I would want them to help me, even if all they did was call someone else to help.

So when you’re at these skate parks all over the place, that we are soooooo lucky to have, be prepared for people to get hurt, it’s going to happen. But remember, when it does happen, please assist immediately, especially for head injuries, even if all you do is call 911.

You may end up someone’s hero; you might even save a life…

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