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Judge Barry Wood

In the last eight years I have required four major orthopedic surgeries; a left and a right rotator cuff, and total knee replacements of both knees. Each was performed by Dr. Gilbert Crane at the IHC hospital in Burley. I was very fortunate to have high quality health insurance and I could have elected to go to just about any orthopedic surgeon and hospital in Idaho and neighboring states; but I elected to stay closer to home and have Dr. Crane perform these very significant procedures. The work performed by Dr. Crane was professional in every sense of the word and if I ever need more orthopedic work, I will be back. Judge Barry Wood, Gooding, Idaho.


Dottie Cross

Its hard to believe breaking my leg in Burley, Idaho could be a blessing. But, because of my accident I now have a wonderful orthopedic surgeon and friend. Dr. Crane not only repaired my broken right leg but he also did a total knee replacement on my left leg which has literally changed my life. At 63 I now hike, bike and mountain climb almost pain free. Thank you Dr. Crane and your staff for my excellent care throughout this last year. I am grateful and blessed to have you as my surgeon.

Listed below is an article I wrote for Rock and Ice magazine.

JUST AN ORDINARY DAY

I was so healthy, so fit, life could not have been better. Retired in 2004, traveling the US in my RV with my pups. Climbing all summer and rescueing dogs all winter in El Potrero Chico, Mexico, collecting my Social Security, living the dream life. It was just a ordinary day in May at Castle Rock State Park Idaho. We finished a few warm-up climbs. Everything felt good, no problems, no premonition of what was to come. Matt, a dear friend and talented local climber had died in a roll-over accident the year before. There was a new 2 pitch route done in his memory. Few people had been on the climb but it looked good, somewhere in the 5-10 range. My partner Duane led the first pitch, no problem. My pitch was bolted and leading off felt good. Somewhere around the 5th clip my life changed forever. A loud crack, foothold gone and I am in the air. When I hit I could feel my right leg break. Lower down to first belay, clip in, Duane repels and runs for help. No pain but I can see the bones moving while I wait. Big rescue. Ambulance, small hospital, 4 hours in surgery, great doctor, 8 inch plate and screws. Prognosis, 3 months in bed, 6-12 months rehab. Growing an inch of bone, unless your a baby takes a lot of time.

I am 62 years old, didn't start climbing till I was 45 so a year is a lifetime for me. That day began my gray winter in Idaho. No phone, no computer, one hour to the nearest town. Crying and eating was my life. The pain pills helped a little but they also depressed me. Then slowly my head and heart started to heal. Except the leg I was healthy and strong. I had great friends and family. My 3 dogs loved having me around 24/7. I ordered Dish TV, lots of books and an exercise bike, which my doctor let me ride before he let me walk. I would find a happy ending and I would climb again.So I started to train!

What have I learned through all of this? Climbing is important but friends and family are your strength. Never would I be to busy to help a handicapped person. Thank God I paid my insurance premiums even if I never used it till now. My terrific Doctor Crane not only fixed my broken leg but while I was healing did a needed left knee replacement. Thank you Wal Mart for your electric carts and helpful hosts. Now the big question is when will I climb. Hopefully soon but with $100,000 worth of work done and lots of metal in my legs I might take it easy at least for awhile. I do know I will take more time to appreciate each day and never take my blessings for granted. I will forever be thankful to Duane and Caroline Ackerman who took me and my dogs into their lives and cared for me all year, to all my friends who never forgot me and to the good Lord who spared my life that May day to hike, bike and climb for another 30 years.

So much of recovery is is in your head and heart.This year has been harder then any climb by far but what is life without mountains? So off we go this spring in my RV with two new bionic legs and a deeper appreciation of life, health, friends and family. For when its all said and done what really is of value?