Air Methods Blog 


The Pope Family: A Patient Story

by Air Methods | May 14, 2020

The steamy morning of July 4, 2019, began with the anticipation of sandwiches, cold beverages and a leisurely, refreshing cruise down South Carolina’s Sampit River later that day followed by fireworks in the evening. To be sure everything was perfect when his wife Calli and a few other people joined them, 42-year-old Harry Pope told his neighbor he’d help him take the neighbor’s boat out for a test run on the water since it hadn’t been used for a while.

Harry and Calli were especially looking forward to a day of mindless relaxation since chronic medical issues had meant Harry was only able to work sporadically at his job as a plumber since February, creating money worries. This would be a chance to leave their troubles on the shore and just enjoy time with friends.

Everything went well with the test cruise – until it didn’t. As Harry and the neighbor were heading back home, a steering cable broke and the boat careened out of control until it ran aground in some trees on a nearby riverbank.

The boat’s owner, who had been driving it at the time, was fine. He had a couple of fractures along with cuts and bruises but was otherwise intact. Harry, however, hadn’t been as lucky.

He had been sitting on the front center console, and when the boat went up the embankment at roughly 20 knots he was exposed to the tree branches waiting there. Fortunately, he was able to duck under the first one, which would have immediately decapitated him. But a lower branch caught him in the chest, pinning him between the mature tree and the boat.

Harry knew something was wrong immediately. He was in a great deal of pain and couldn’t move. He managed to fish his mobile phone out of his pocket and, despite the pain, he called Calli to let her know what had happened.

“It was very scary,” she says.

Air Methods transported Harry from the scene, and he recovered from his injuries.

Read the full story here to learn about the Pope family’s journey through this difficult emergency and its aftermath, and how Air Methods was there to help ease the financial burden of Harry’s care.

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