Back in 2008 I was working as a 911 dispatcher in Grant County Washington, I also volunteered for the Ephrata fire department. That January our little emergency services community was rocked. One of our deputies who was also a local fire department volunteer, and friend of many, went out hunting. In our area coyote hunting is fairly common, it’s more of a time passer, so it’s not too uncommon for people to go alone. Earl was out alone that day and while hunting a man shot him. Now I won’t go on about how if you have a scope you should be able to tell the difference between a man and a dog. But hey, that’s a different issue. A man was shot, but on top of that, he was one of our own, not a faceless voice on the phone. A 30-06 to the lower back is bad. I am so proud of my friend and co-dispatcher that took the call that day. I don’t know that I could have held up as well, especially when he asked to leave the recorded message for his fiancé.
Earl survived that day, and the next, and the days after that. He is alive today, and he created a video that is an inspiration I wanted to share.
Here is what he wrote about his video:
I created this video with the input of a few close friends. When I began making this I wanted to show not only my progression, but to remind us all life isn’t fair sometimes and we all make the choice between bitter or better whatever the situation. This week six years ago would be the beginning of my first full week of PT after a bullet broke four vertebrae in my lower back, leaving my right leg partially paralyzed.
The goals: to walk again unassisted and regain strength.
Most of you already know the story. This time I wanted to share some videos I have never shown before. The video and pictures in the hospital setting were taken in Harborview Medical Center. The pictures of where the bullet exited and is healing were after I returned home.
I will say I’m thankful for all the people I have met along the way who I would have never had the opportunity of meeting if I had never been shot.
Probably the most profound statement that affects me today is this. While in Harborview I was in an amount of pain no scale can measure. Having a poor little pity party for myself I was complaining about the situation I was in and how it wasn’t fair. It just so happened the lead resident for surgery was in my room. He said you need to understand your on the 7th floor, and everyone one floor below you are newly paralyzed. He said you may not be able to run again, but you will walk again. You may not be able to do some of the things you did before, but you will be able to do a lot of things you did before and you’ll have the opportunity to learn new things. It won’t be a quick process, but you’ll get there.
“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
– Earl Romig 2/25/14
You can watch his video here: