Meet Evan, my big brother and lifelong hero. He doesn't use social media, but his most recent journey has touched me so profoundly that I feel it necessary to share some of his story.
Last August, after summiting the Grand Tetons as brothers, Evan fell, breaking his neck in seven places, fracturing parts of his skull, losing an eye, and severely breaking his arm and wrist. His injuries were so severe that we were all deeply concerned he wouldn’t be able to make it through the hours it took for help to arrive.
This is when Evan taught me grit. He has always been a fighter, overcoming and accomplishing huge feats throughout his life, but what I witnessed will always stay with me. His sheer force of will and determination to push on in spite of extreme pain and difficulty is something I will try to emulate, and something I will always respect.
Evan didn’t just make it to the hospital alive, he made it to the hospital alert, surprising everyone. He was instantly taken into surgery to repair the damage done, though due to the severity of his injuries, the surgeon responsible to repair his arm and wrist opted to wait because he didn’t want to operate on “a dead man.” He clearly hadn’t met my brother yet.
After the first surgery, he was kept in a medically induced coma for a full week. His arm and wrist had yet to be fixed, but when Evan awoke and showcased his ironclad resolve, a surgery was quickly scheduled. He left a week later after insisting that he had been held up entirely too long and that he needed to continue moving through his recovery process. The medical staff told him he wouldn’t be released until he could prove he could walk on his own and go down stairs, so Evan, being the incredible man that he is and without even putting on shoes or getting dressed, got out of bed, walked down the hospital stairs and walked right out of the Hospital. He clearly meant what he said, and he knew that he could do anything he set his mind to.
Sometimes though, catastrophe strikes twice, and difficult situations get even more difficult;