After Sydney and I had left the trail, Sydney continued to be quite motivated about hiking locally in the Seattle area. Three weeks later, in late September, she decided to drive two hours north of Seattle and go for a hike in the Northern Cascades. It was a Saturday morning and two miles into her hike she slipped and fell and broke her fibula just above her ankle. Of course, at the time, she didn’t know that she had broken anything – she just knew it hurt like hell!
As she tells the story, it took about thirty minutes to adjust to the pain and to gain her composure. She considered activating the S.O.S. button on her GPS device but didn’t. Luckily, as she hobbled her way back to the trailhead, a family came along and helped her out. Then she managed to drive the two hours back to Seattle. Somewhere along the way she called Donna and I and let us know about her accident.
Right before our PCT hike Sydney had just completed her Masters program at the University of Washington. Her new job was to start two days after her accident – her medical benefits wouldn’t start for thirty days after that. As a student she didn’t have good medical insurance so it took her a few days for her to figure out the system. Luckily she did have medical coverage. Surgery was recommended so Donna flew up to help with the initial recovery.
The surgeon repaired her fractured bone by placing a plate to stabilize the fracture. It was anchored by nine screws!
Three weeks after the surgery, Donna and I were back in Seattle for her follow-up appointment. This is a photo of her ankle at that time.
We spent almost a week together as she continued her recovery. Beau was there for moral support.
It’s been almost six months since Sydney had her accident. She is doing fine but is still recovering. I think she is worried that she won’t recover completely. I think she will. Time will tell. I’m hoping that she’ll be able to complete those last eighty miles.
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