Monday, August 22, 2011

Photography- One life, many stories, and great thanks

A year ago July, my phone, and email blew up with very strange messages.  “Todd, something happened!”  “Dude you have to call me ASAP”, “Todd, you need to pray!”, “Todd……….James, has been in a really bad accent!”

Now, that was a year ago, and it still brings tears to my eyes, and chills down my spine.

James, was a great friend of mine.  He was one of my youth group students, when I first volunteered out of high school.  We have been on at least 7 mission trips together, dozens of camping/ climbing trips, and have had a lot of crazy fun.  In addition, his mom taught Sunday School with me, and James was a high school science teacher.  As selfish and crazy as James was, he touched many lives and was connected all over the region through friends and family.

When I finally got to the bottom of it all, James had fallen about 40ft off a cliff and decked. (Hit the ground)  He was in a remote area of Arkansas, and the rescue was very difficult.  He was rushed, by very skilled and dedicated professionals, over very rough and tricky terrain to a pickup truck.  The pickup truck drove him up a dirt trail, to an ambulance, which drove him 5 miles to a helicopter.  The helicopter flew him to Fayetteville.

I got to the hospital the next day, and it was not good.  He was really broken.  Broken skull, back, ribs, and more than I could ever remember, and care to know.

But, Its James.  And he is stubborn, and determined, and a very hard worker.  That guy was an awful patient.  Every friend and family member that came to visit, was asked so sweetly, from James ‘will you please untie me from the bed?”    Which everyone did.  And James would promptly start ripping out his I.V. and monitors, and trying to walk out of the hospital.  One night they found him just wondering around the basement of the hospital.

James in Rehab

James in Rehab

He was determined to be back teaching by January, and dammit…….He did it!

No matter how much his loved ones told him to “be patient,”  “don’t push to hard” , he pushed even harder.

So he started teaching at the beginning of the year.  And by spring, the doctor gave him a clean bill of health.

Happy Boyd, first climb back

Many of us were worried about if his body could handle climbing, running, motorcycle riding, and whatever else he would come up with.  But, once again, he amazed us all.

And, one year later……..

Climbing-Portrait-Photography-Arkansas

Back to full strength

We were back in Arkansas.  Most of the close friends that were by his hospital bedside, gathered for a fun celebration of life, fun, and memories old and new.  They had to be good memories, to stick in James brain/  (his short turn memory, taste and smell sense aren’t as good as they use to be)

Of course I took my camera, and I wanted to share some of the fun.

Great people and amazing friends, all brought together over one skinny, inspiring dude.

Day 1 crew Logan, Cassie, Frank, James, Brian

Todd, Cassie, Dan, Frank, Logan, Tanner, Erin, Brian, James

The Route of the accident

Photography

Photography

Finished- No problem. except for a little bat, that was in a hold 🙂

Everyone after the climb

Portraits | A few personalities