When a fun day on the farm suddenly took a nasty turn for Tysen Jordison, he wondered if he’d get to keep both his legs.
It was 2013, and Tysen was 13 years old. He was playing with his cousin on hay bales, jumping from one to the other. A stack of three bales, reaching almost 20 feet high, was an enticing platform for daring jumps into a pile of loose hay below.
“When I went to jump off the bale, my foot slipped off the approach and I missed the trajectory. I landed right on the ground instead of hitting the soft hay,” recalled Tysen.
A simple slip turned into disaster, with his right leg breaking in several places.
“The tibia actually came out of my leg, and it stuck in to the dirt. The fibula broke in half,” said Tysen.
At the scene, it was assumed that his leg would have to be amputated from the ankle down.
Tysen needed surgery quickly if he was to have any hope of saving his leg, but the hospital he needed was an hour and a half away by road.
The STARS team on shift that day attributed the success of this mission to the quick thinking of the ground EMS team. “If our allies on the ground that day had not recognized the potential seriousness and implications of not seeking a more rapid and specialized form of transport, Tysen may not have had the positive outcome that he did,” said flight paramedic Shannon Koch,
STARS was dispatched and arrived in 18 minutes. Tysen was airlifted to the hospital just in time.
“Tysen’s mom, who introduced herself as being a nurse, was very calm and collected, and recognized the seriousness of his injury,” said Koch. “It was a great example of what can happen when everyone works together with the patient’s best interest at the forefront of their decision-making to increase the chances of a positive outcome.”
Three surgeries later, Tysen took a summer to recover and soon found himself back on his feet, playing a variety of sports again and still having fun on the farm. But he hasn’t returned to jumping on hay bales.
“I look at them differently now,” he smiled. “Just a little bit.”
He credited a quick STARS response for the happy ending to his potentially tragic story.
“People realize how important STARS is, because of the care they provide and how quickly they give it,” said Tysen. “I’m very grateful for them.”
Tysen’s parents agree with their son. “Thank you for all that STARS has done for Tysen,” said Heath Jordisen. “As first responders ourselves, my wife Shar and I are very appreciative knowing that we have air support so close by.”
Watch Tysen share his story here.