Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

Chonci's Story

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As a tree surgeon March 22, 2016 was a beautiful day to be climbing. I was at the top of a very mature pine tree and descended between 50 to 60 feet to finish removing the top from over a home. I had allowed myself to become distracted with anger towards a coworker due to a prior argument. That displacement of anger blinded my better judgment causing me to cut myself out of the top which I was tied into. Accidents are preventable yet my unforgiveness created one. Just before I fell I yelled out loud to God for help and then fell and landed face first resting in the praying position. From that moment everything was different. I received facial fractures to my nose and upper jaw, chipped my rear molar, shattered my right humerus, fractured my left ulnar styloid, bruised and collapsed lungs, adrenal gland hematoma, grade 3 liver laceration, and listed as high risk for my condition to worsen and in need of close monitoring. From Tuesday to Thursday of the same week I could not have had any better first responders, nurses, staff, and doctors than I did. I believe that I had the absolute best Knoxville and UT Medical Center provides! Due to having the best care provided I too responded in the same way in my recovery! Amazing! My facial fractures appeared healed within hours of accident and “bilateral pneumothoraces or collapsed lungs seen are not visualized and previously described primary contusions appear improved.” Within 24 hours, the same day of fall, I was able to lift my left arm and walk around in ICU. Once in a regular room I continued more mental exercises and visualized seeing myself back to the way I was before and stronger. But none of this was done without the faithfulness of my praying wife constantly by my side and loving family (Church) and friends standing in faith and on God's Word, Psalms 118:17 AMP “I will not die, but live, and declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord” and Psalms 107:20 AMP “He sent His word and healed them, and rescued them from their destruction.” I honestly and genuinely do not ever recall any pain while in the hospital but as soon as arrived home I did. I knew that the pain of recovery physically and emotionally would be a battle but one I too knew I would win because I was not going to choose to be a victim of anger or feeling sorry for myself while staying stagnant on the couch. For two weeks my wife and I ran 3 miles a day every day expect Sunday at Cherokee Dam before I started physical therapy at Mossy Creek Rehab three times a week. I believe therapy starts in the heart and mind before the physical. And the intent and intensity mentally will help advance the physical once started. This is the reason why I too am involved with the National TSN program. The program helps to remind me that life is not just about me getting better and moving on but me staying better and picking others up with me and helping them to continue living life to the fullest. To help myself by helping others value life and have hope that things do get better and that falling down and pain may occur but can be overcome.


  • Chonci