When Davydov broke her hip in the woods, local first responders offered aid and TLC
Editor’s note: Cornwall resident Dieuwke Davydov shared this piece with Independent readers.
On Sunday the 13th of October I had quite an adventure:
My husband Sergei, daughter Tania, her friend Chris and I — plus our three dogs — went on a lovely hike by Belden Falls close to Middlebury. It was beautiful weather and we hiked for about a mile to a great boulder where Sergei and Chris had nice fishing. Chris caught a beautiful rainbow trout, the dogs had some good swimming and sliding on the slippery rocks and I said to Tania: They have four legs, if I did that I would break a hip.
The next moment I slipped and slammed my hip on the rock.
Chris called 911 and in 20 minutes two first responders appeared on the path above us and came slithering down the rocks while we called out to warn them how slippery it was. One of them was a Middlebury College student who knew to take vital signs, the other a fantastic, friendly, comforting and experienced medical technician — Matt — who could finally take over from Tania, who had been sitting with her back against me, trying to stabilize my hip and keeping me from sliding down into the river.
Later I heard that all that time she had been sitting with her behind in a hole in the rock that was filled with water, to keep me “comfortable!”
Now it was Matt that kept me from sliding. His hands were comfortingly warm on my hip.
In the meantime Chris and Sergei kept the barking and whining dogs away from me, and Tania and I had to keep Sergei away from the slippery rock where I was lying, because one broken hip in a household is enough.
Nine more firefighters and ambulance workers had been summoned and kept us abreast of their progress through the woods.
They arrived and suddenly we were surrounded by 17 fire and ambulance men and women. I think most of the women were Middlebury College students, and several of the men were very young, perhaps firefighters in training. They came from Middlebury, Weybridge, New Haven, Vergennes, Bristol and Brandon.
All a nice and cheerful group once they saw me behaving cheerfully.
They shifted me over on two long plastic sleds, Matt could finally loosen his grip on me and shake out his foot, which had fallen asleep. Then Sergei suggested that they bring a boat from a nearby campsite and they all thought that was a good idea. So another few men were dispatched with a boat and another long wait began. In the meantime, other medics came and put an IV in my arm, where the veins had practically disappeared from cold and shock, I suppose. After a while poking in both arms, they did get pain medication into me.
I think everyone was dressed in T-shirts and started to get cold, but they were still joking around.
Then a voice over the radio sounded from down the river that they were stuck at a sand bar and had to turn back.
So I was pulled over the rocks in my double sled with all the men and women crawling around me in order not to fall. Coming to the six-foot rock wall, half of them climbed up and the other half lifted me up as high as they could. The men above then grabbed the sled without letting me slide off!
Then the long walk through the woods started. It is quite incredible to see the tops of all those trees sliding by with a beautiful blue late afternoon sky behind it.
The group stopped twice on this walk and exchanged sides. They had to wind through the trees, stumble over roots and rocks, and at the end lift me over a 6-foot fence high above Belden Falls.
I heard the rushing water race through the rocks far below me. Luckily, I couldn’t look down!
They managed this whole trip without hurting me once or tipping me, in difficult situations.
They are my heroes!
Then there was the ambulance waiting. They shifted me in, I could just quickly call out, “Thank You All So Much,” and I was driven away.
Never will I forget this crew of friendly, confident and very skilled men and women, who take care of us in Addison County without getting anything back but our extreme thankfulness!
Editor’s note: Dieuwke Davydov is an accomplished cellist who is an affiliate artist at Middlebury College. She has performed widely throughout the U.S, in Europe, Israel and Panama.
Her performance schedule is certainly curtailed right now; she had to cancel a concert with the Aurora Chamber Singers in Burlington. She hopes to play with Jeff Rehbach and his Middlebury choir at the end of November, but since she will still have to walk with a walker for at least six weeks, it may be difficult for her to get on stage.
She said she hopes to play the “Messiah” in Charlotte on Dec. 1 and with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops Tour starting Dec. 12.
“I got home Oct. 27 and am mobile with the walker,” Davydov told the Independent. “I have a lot of hardware in my femur and it all has to heal.”
Good luck for a speedy recovery, Dieuwke!
Criminals broke into the building that houses foreign workers at Sunrise Orchards in Cornw … (read more)
The recently expanded Ethan Allen Express passenger rail service is exceeding state offici … (read more)