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My close call with death

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#1 of 60 OFFLINE   Scott McGillivray

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Posted June 18 2009 - 03:02 PM

Hi Gang,

I wanted to share with by brothers and sisters here at the HTF my close call I just had. I had a motorcycle accident on May 28th. I was cut off on a street and had to dump my bike. I was found 100% not a fault and was only driving 40 to 50 kph. For some reason, I must have fallen about as bad as one can fall. I broke 7 ribs on one side and one on the other. I broke my shoulder blade (apparently not an easy thing to do!) and had some good road rash and a great gash on my head (thank God for my helmet!).

The thing that nearly killed me, however, was I tore a hole in my aorta. According to the doctors, that typically means death in 1-2 min. I was blessed and my tear clotted and saved me. I had over 7 hours of emergency heart surgery. I had to lay on the 7 broken ribs during this time as they cut into me through my back/side to get to my heart. I was later told by the anesthesiologist that it was an epic operation. He said, with such seriousness "You have no idea. No idea how big an operation that was. We pumped over 8 litres of blood into you." The body normally only holds about 5 - 6 litres so it was a good indication how much work they did on me. I recall waking up twice during the operation simply due to how much new blood they were pumping into me. In the end, they replaced a 10 cm piece of my aorta with an artificial tube of sorts (heck, I don't know the details!) and everything seems fine. I am still recovering from the great pains of the ribs as they were really shattered and from the large incision in my back/side and a large one in my groin where they had hooked me up to the blood bypass. I had over 75 staples/stitches in me, but they have since been removed. I also had a filter inserted into my major vein in the middle of my chest to catch blood clots. Crazy how they inserted that into me via my femoral artery in my leg. It comes out in a few weeks, so I am told. I suspect I will need another 2 weeks or so before I am able to return to a normal life.

I was really blessed with so many great people in my life. My loving wife who was by my side the whole time. My parents and sisters who flew out to see me. My in-laws who gave such great support. My church and co-workers and friends and on and on. I have so much to be thankful for.

Today is the first day I have been strong enough to sit in front of a computer. It feels great to be able to type this. Forgive me if it is a bit of a ramble, but I find it therapeutic to share this with a group I have been involved with for 10 years. I find it funny that my IMDB rating went up during this period. I know it had nothing to do with the accident, just seemed so typical that an actor gets hurt/dies and he becomes more popular. Made me smile anyway.

So, the bike, a 2008 Victory Jackpot, took next to no damage! I am getting it fixed and selling it. I still love the bike, but this was just too much. I nearly died from such a minor accident. It just does not make it worth it to ride for me.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! It feels great to be able to post here again!
Scott A. McGillivray
Vancouver, B.C.

Struggling Actor and Movie Nut!
(Check out my profile on IMDB!)http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1425496/

#2 of 60 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming



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Posted June 18 2009 - 03:12 PM

Yowza! I'm glad you survived, and hope you have a speedy and full recovery from your injuries!

I earned a motorbike licence nearly 20 years ago, but to this day have never actually ridden a bike on a street: lessons and the test were on a closed circuit only back then (today some advanced lessons are on 'real' streets, not sure about the test though). Reading your story, I don't think I ever will.

#3 of 60 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted June 18 2009 - 03:13 PM

Wow. I am incredibly glad that you are well enough to recall the story for us. That sounds like one heck of an ordeal. It really reminds me just how thankful we should be for the people in our lives and what we have when I hear of such things.

Again, Scott - real glad that you are on your way back to normal. Your pals at HTF are thinking of ya!
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#4 of 60 OFFLINE   Ockeghem


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Posted June 18 2009 - 03:40 PM


Goodness, that's great that you survived such an ordeal. I've had one motorcycle accident in my life (thirty-four years ago), but I never came close to what you went through. I'm happy for you that you're able to be up and around, too. Such a blessing to have survived that. Posted Image Posted Image

#5 of 60 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted June 18 2009 - 03:44 PM

Wow, very good to hear that you're OK! I hope your recovery goes by quickly!

#6 of 60 OFFLINE   DavidJ



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Posted June 18 2009 - 03:50 PM

Scott, that is quite an ordeal and I wish you well in your continued recovery.

#7 of 60 OFFLINE   drobbins



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Posted June 18 2009 - 11:00 PM

Good to have you back! We will keep you in our prayers.

#8 of 60 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted June 18 2009 - 11:03 PM

Wow. What a close call. Glad to have you back.

#9 of 60 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted June 18 2009 - 11:06 PM

Yikes, that is not a high speed incident at all. I'm very glad to see you posting and that you are OK... I have a friend whose son was in a very bad motorcycle incident and he spent a few months in rehab and has some brain trauma and psychological issues from it. He's now slowly recovering as well.

Maybe you should get a bicycle and stick to Multiuse Paths. Posted Image

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#10 of 60 OFFLINE   Radioman970



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Posted June 18 2009 - 11:24 PM

On the list of things I fear might happen to me too....

Best of luck to you as your injuries heal.
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#11 of 60 OFFLINE   Hogie


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Posted June 19 2009 - 12:33 AM

As a rider, your story hits close to home. I've been in several near-misses and have seen some fellow riders go down, but I've been fortunate. Thanks for posting your story. I'll be sure to share it with others. Good to see you back! I wish you a full and fast recovery.

#12 of 60 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted June 19 2009 - 12:47 AM

That's an amazing story Scott.

First the terrible damage to your body from an accident that hardly damages your motorcycle. The terrible and deadly wound in your aorta. Then the unbelievable operation. And then of course the way you're allowed to be back safe and sound with your loved ones.

And with us.

Welcome back to the forum, we're not happy, of course that you went through that ordeal, but we're very, very happy to have you with us again after all that.

Hope you'll recover further as well and as fast as can be.


#13 of 60 ONLINE   DaveF


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Posted June 19 2009 - 01:12 AM

Wow! Glad to hear that you're both alive and well! I can imagine how your family felt during that time and am glad for them too.

This reminds me to be aware of motorcyclists.

#14 of 60 OFFLINE   RAF


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Posted June 19 2009 - 01:24 AM

An amazing and riveting account in all aspects. All who read this have to feel your pain but it's obviously dwarfed by your actual experience.

Terrifying and yet beautiful in it's outcome.

Best to you and yours. You are not going to get out of being an HTFer so easily!!

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#15 of 60 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted June 19 2009 - 01:51 AM

Yikes! And you woke up during the operation as well! The anesthesiologist must have had a hell of a time just trying to keep you under what with your blood being completely replaced one and a half times and all the drugs being flushed out in the process!

I wish you a speedy recovery and a quick return to normal life! Hang in there!

#16 of 60 OFFLINE   Bob McLaughlin

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Posted June 19 2009 - 02:01 AM

Good lord Scott, thank goodness you are alive! What a harrowing experience. I'm sure you don't feel "lucky" but at least you are alive and apparently not paralyzed, you sound like you have a pretty good chance to get back to normal again once you heal up. (Well, as normal as Scott McGillivray can be!)

I was wondering why you hadn't posted anything on the recent so-called UFO sighting where the woman videotaped that ring in the sky near a theme park. It sure didn't look like a ring of smoke to me...

#17 of 60 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 19 2009 - 02:30 AM


With so much going on here these days I rarely get to read the
forum as thoroughly as I want.

The Moderators alerted me that I should come and read this thread.

I am sitting here in shock. That is one amazing story, my friend.

I also need to tell you that I am deeply honored that HTF was one
of the first places (if not the first) you came to share this story. I
and all the other veteran members of this forum have known you
for quite some time, read your posts and consider you online family.

Consider yourself greatly blessed. So happy that you had the chance
to continue living your life. I am certain, as with many who have been
that close to death, that your perspective on life will greatly change.

Have a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#18 of 60 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 19 2009 - 03:05 AM

I hope you continue to have a speedy recovery and your accident is confirmation to me why I'm deathly afraid of motorcycles. I'm glad God was looking out for you that day.




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#19 of 60 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted June 19 2009 - 03:05 AM

As a former rider (I managed to quit the habit before taking any major damage) I can certainly relate to the events surrounding your accident. That is an amazing story Scott. I am happy to hear that things are going as well as they are and I hope you have a speedy recovery. Best Wishes.

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#20 of 60 ONLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted June 19 2009 - 08:25 AM


You are blessed, indeed! What a terrific thing that you are able to type that OP after all you've been through. You are blessed--not only to be alive--but, as you note, to have such a great support group.

It was just a few years ago that I went into the hospital for some minor surgery only to suffer a blood clot that sent me to intensive care for quite a long time. It, too, was a close-to-death experience. It gave me a great insight into many things...not the least of which was the blessing of learning about how many people there were in my life who were a great help to me and my family.

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Have a strong and quick recovery. Feel better!


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