The magazine’s most popular writer, Jackie Clay, will be sidelined for a while after fracturing her sternum and compressing three vertebrae when she fell off a barn roof. She was released from the hospital Thursday after a three-day stay.
I talked to Jackie this morning. She’s in a lot of discomfort, but her spirits are upbeat and she’s hoping to get back to blogging Monday. Right now she has difficulty even sitting up and is doing a lot of sleeping to allow time to help with the healing process.
Lisa, the BHM Editorial Coordinator, posted a statement about the accident on Jackie’s blog yesterday.
Here’s what Jackie told me this morning: Will was putting metal roofing on their new storage barn. It was threatening to both rain and blow so she wanted to help him get the roof fastened down. Over Will’s objections, she went up on the roof to help him.
It then started to sprinkle and Will began to slide off the roof. Jackie reached out and grabbed his shins in an effort to stop his slide, but both fell off and hit the ground eight-feet below. Jackie landed on her feet “like a cat” she said, but the impact broke her sternum and compressed the three vertebrae. Will was bruised but broke nothing, and he is back out haying today. Jackie said he just missed landing on a metal trash can, which could have injured him seriously.
Jackie was ambulanced to a local hospital, then helicoptered to St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth when her oxygen numbers went too low and doctors feared her sternum was bleeding into a lung. A CAT scan revealed it was just fluid from lying down, not blood.
They sent Jackie home yesterday wearing a medical corset and told her to rest until she sees the orthopedic surgeon again in about a week. She said she can take a few steps but is otherwise not able to sit up for very long, so she is doing a lot of sleeping. Luckily, she said, Will is a good cook.
Jackie said there is a moral in this story: “Don’t be in too big a hurry to use a safety rope. We give advice to others about how to do things, but then we sometimes neglect to take precautions ourselves.”