Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Shut Down Diamondhead

For at least 45 minutes on Monday I shut down access to the top of Diamondhead crater as first-responders extricated me from a cramped tunnel and spiral staircase.

Mere minutes from disaster, Robert McLaughlin blithely poses at the top of Diamondhead. Photograph by Norman Huffman.

My son-in-law and his family and I hiked up to the rim of Diamondhead. While challenging, it isn't a terribly difficult trip. Here's a photo of your's truly with Honolulu in the background.

Near the top there is a spiral staircase. On the way down my left foot slipped on the next to the last step and when my right foot hit the cement floor I heard the sound of a loud pop, felt the bone break away, and crumpled to the ground in excruciating pain.

Robert's right leg broken in three places. Swelling hadn't started yet. Photograph by the Good Samaritan.

My God! Help! I screamed like a little girl. Fortunately amongst the crowds there was a good Samaritan who was also an EMT. This gentleman and his family stayed with me until the first responders arrived.

Strangely my sense of humor stayed with me. As unsuspecting tourists squeezed by I would say to each, "Welcome to Diamondhead, watch your step, and hold onto the handrails."

The Good Samaritan and his wife. Robert was smiling when he wasn't screaming, crying, or whimpering. Photograph by the Good Samaritan's daughter.

In about 30—45 minutes the first responders arrived. "You got any drugs for me?" I asked. You can't imagine how disappointed I was to learn no drugs were available until I got to the hospital.

Honolulu Fire Department first responders at work rescuing a stupid tourist. Photograph by Robert McLaughlin (AKA, The Stupid Tourist).

They splinted my leg without the benefit of Morphine—whereupon I proceeded to scream like a little girl again. My rescuers assured me I didn't scream like a little girl—I screamed like a woman.

It took another 30 minutes to extricate me from the stairwell and get me to the helicopter. Thanks to everyone for helping me out!

Robert in the ER at Queens Medical Center. Photograph by Patricia McLaughlin.


lisa said...

Welcome to the Orthaepedic Crisis Whilst Enjoying Exotic Destinatons club. The OCWEED is always happen to embrace new members.
Insider tip: 1 double margarita+4 Aleve = 1 Percocet.

Lisa Galloway
OCWEED Founder

Robert McLaughlin said...

Could we change the acronym to mean Orthopaedic Crisis Whilst Enduring Exotic Destinations?

OCWEED founding member,
Robert McLaughlin

RHoward said...

Robert, I meant to comment on this earlier. I certainly hope that you took advantage of the chopper ride to get some great pictures. Feel better soon!