Trauma, shock – and then – survival

Gary Edinger's story

A man stands in the forest, taking in the fresh air and scenery that surrounds him. He has always enjoyed the wilderness and today is no exception. This man’s name is Gary Edinger, and a few years ago, he was nearly killed in a logging accident.

In February, 2007 Gary was doing an independent logging job in sub-zero weather. During the process one of the trees he was cutting turned and fell in the wrong direction, shearing his leg instantly.

Completely in shock, Gary attempted to use his belt as a tourniquet, but broke it in the process. With little time to spare, he crawled to his skidder and then drove the skidder 300 yards to his pickup. Despite being on the verge of passing out, Gary was able to get through to a 911 dispatcher who helped keep him calm. Meanwhile he went 5 miles in a manual truck using his good leg to drive, finally meeting up with a deputy who took him to a nearby ambulance.

From the ambulance Gary was taken to the Spirit flight crew who kept him stable and flew him to Marshfield. At Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital, they were able to save Gary’s knee, which allows him to function pretty well with a prosthetic leg while returning to logging and the outdoor life he loves. In November, 2010, Gary wrote “Will to Live: A Saga of Survival,” a book chronicling his incredible experience.

So now, looking back at all he’s been through Gary Edinger has never been more thankful to be back doing what he loves. Today he isn’t just standing in the middle of the woods – he’s standing on top of the world.

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