Hauling logs out of the woods with his Ford Tractor, Jeffrey Sutherland was on his last run of the day on April 17, 2010 when his haul caught on something and the tractor abruptly rolled on top of him. With the tractor nearly crushing his chest and pinning his leg, Jeffrey fought to breathe fully and keep calm. Nonetheless, he was amazed when help arrived just moments later. Crews from Pennfield Fire Department and Lifecare Ambulance worked for almost 2 hours gingerly extricating Jeffrey from under the tractor and monitoring his condition so he wouldn't suffer additional injuries.
When Jeffrey was freed, West Michigan Air Care flew him to Borgess Medical Center. Jeffrey's face was flushed and his eyes red with broken blood vessels from when the tractor rolled onto his chest. His leg was crushed and bruised but the flight crew noticed his pale, pulseless foot had started to "pink up" after extrication. The crew provided IV fluids and pain control during the 12-minute flight to Borgess, where Jeffrey said he received great care. "Everything was done before my wife even got to the hospital," he said.
The next day in his Borgess suite, Jeffrey spotted a walker against the wall and without waiting for an invitation, took it for a test drive, much to his caregivers' surprise. Working with therapists, Jeffrey began walking better and went back to his job for a mechanical contractor in about a week.
Today, Jeffrey is getting around just fine. The accident slowed him down but not for long. "I didn't play softball this year, but I will next year," he smiles. Jeffrey still marvels at how smoothly the trauma system worked for him. "The [rescuers] response time was unbelievable, and the ER was quick and advanced ... just like the TV shows," he said.