Hiking adventure becomes winter canyon rescue, Andrea Seeley, Logan, Utah

Total eligible bills
$155,138
Provider discounts
$132,576
Total bills shared
$22,562

*Editor’s note: This information was published in the May 2022 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.*

With school out for the day, my son, Zach, went hiking with a friend in a nearby canyon. As he and his friend were sliding down a snowy mountainside on their way home, Zach was impaled by an object under the snow.

At first, he thought it was a stick, but when he grabbed it, he was holding a knife. Zach’s friend immediately called his own father for help. His father quickly drove to the canyon parking lot, alerting 911 and calling for Search and Rescue.

The boys quickly packed the wound with clothing and applied pressure to staunch the extreme flow of blood. The father arrived, prayed, and continued caring for Zach by taking off his own coat and shirt to keep Zach warm. Once rescue personnel arrived, they determined Zach was a Trauma I patient, and he needed a hospital 50 miles away.

Since they couldn’t safely get him down the steep mountainside, a helicopter with hoist capabilities was called in. First responders packed the wound further, and they wrapped him in an emergency warming bag. After three attempts by the helicopter to reach Zach, he was finally hoisted and delivered to the parking lot, where the ambulance was waiting to stabilize him with fluids and warming equipment. This was about three hours after the injury. When he was finally stabilized, they loaded him back into the helicopter for transport to the hospital.

Thankfully, neither his colon nor bladder were injured, but he needed emergency surgery and a transfusion. He stayed in the hospital for two days and was released on the third day.

As a self-employed family, we’d joined CHM several years ago. I was so glad I’d taken time to read through the Guidelines before this situation had happened and that I’d experienced submitting medical bills before. This allowed me to not worry about the costs as we discussed his situation and the care he would need. Additionally, I was touched by the staff members who asked about my son first, before moving onto the business end whenever we communicated.

We know that Zach’s injuries, while life threatening, could have been so much worse and are grateful for the miracles that preserved his life and internal organs. It was below freezing in the canyon that day and the sun was going down. No one in the canyon could get cell phone service, but my son’s friend could get a call out to his dad for help. Our friends and neighbors heard the sirens and helicopters and were immediately praying for the injured, even before they knew it was our son who needed help.

I believe God supported Zach in both his physical and mental recovery. This experience reaffirmed God’s love for each of his children and His ability to succor our individual needs in an experience. So many people provided prayers, meals, and help, and our CHM family supported us financially. I know they were God’s hands helping us through this experience.

Editor’s note: Emergency transport for life-threatening situations is eligible only on the Gold level. See the CHM Guidelines for more information.

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