Here’s how it happened…

April 14, 2015

Hey everyone, Ken here to explain what got me here to this blog and why I’ve decided to write.

We start with a little background of myself. I served as a US Marine from October 2005- 2013. After getting off active status in 2010 I started going to school (which didn’t last very long) and in early 2011 I started training in Taekwondo (TKD). I was struggling with my marriage and ended up getting divorced which pulled me away from TKD for a few years and then finally I was able to get back to training again in 2014.

I am currently 30 years old and have been an active person my whole life. I enjoy sports and the outdoors as well as gaming and a good book. So doing TKD was a way for me to get out of the house and keep me away from the bars. I’ve always had a passion for martial arts in general so I knew it was a great thing for me to spend my money and time on. I train constantly at home and at the school, always leaving my training session in a sweat! I haven’t competed in to many tournaments but I have gained a lot of skill and have even been selected to help train and assist with classes. I’m hoping to become an instructor someday!

Before my incident with my achilles I had become selected to join our national competitive demonstration team. Our school has competed in the past few years and we have consistently gotten 5th place. This year was going to be different, we weren’t going to settle with 5th place again so we took it up a notch. I hadn’t been around during previous demo team competitions so when I was selected I knew I was doing something right. I have a ton of technical skill as well as choreography ideas to incorporate in our routine. Everyone on the team was hand selected by our Master. He chose only 14 students with skills and potential to be on the team just so we don’t get 5th place again, we are going for gold. In order for this to happen we have taken things to the next level and even collaborated with a gymnastics coach to work with us on adding that to our tricks and routine.

Ok so enough about the demo team, (obviously I’m passionate) and now on to what happened. During our gymnastics training I had shown great skills to be able to do hand stands, cart wheels, and round offs. So the coach started working on back flips, or back tucks, with me. We worked very hard and after two 2 hour sessions he told me I was ready without assistance for a round off back tuck combo. First time I tried it I landed it even without being very confident, I just did what the coach taught me and told me. I continued to do them and gained more confidence. Obviously I was warmed up while doing these. The floor at the gymnastics school is pretty bouncy so it was a little easier on my feet and legs.

So now I incorporate this round off back tuck into our routine and it looks awesome! The mats we have at the TKD school aren’t as absorbent as at gymnastics but I was able to still nail the trick just fine. I wasn’t feeling any pain and I was definitely warmed up and stretched out again while performing this. So I’ve done the trick a good 25 times at least and was fairly confident about having it in the routine. At the end of our demo training of 2+ hours we always record the performance to see where we are and what needs improving. This is when it happened….

I get to my place during the routine, I’m pumped from the music, and getting ready for my trick. I run towards the front of the school, place my hands down for the round off, flip over onto my feet and SNAP, there went my tendons, BOTH OF THEM. My body naturally went for the back flip after the snap and I ended up landing on my neck. As soon as I landed I rolled over and grabbed my right ankle knowing something was majorly wrong.

If felt as if someone took a metal bar or a tree branch and smacked me on the back of my tendons. I got up on my knees and crawled to the side of the room and I remember feeling so much pressure in my ankles. Our Master works at the ER at a local hospital so he checked me out and said that the left one felt completely gone but couldn’t quite tell on the right. I had a feeling they were both shot but I’ve also never known anyone that has experienced this. My Master was telling me that he hopes that he is wrong but helped me into my friend’s SUV and off I went to the ER.

Once I get to the ER I get put in a wheel chair and I get signed in. There was quite a few people there for a Sunday afternoon so I decided to embrace the wheel chair and practiced getting around, I had a feeling if it was as bad as it felt in both ankle that I wasn’t going to be walking anytime soon. I get my vitals and then wait again to be put in a room and wait again for the doctor. Now the doctor is just the ER doctor for now. He asks what happened and I explain, then he feels around and is extremely surprised and has this grin on his face that led me to believe he was perplexed. He said, “Well it looks like they are both gone.” I’m confused as to what the doctor meant and ask. So does that mean they’re both torn or does that mean I will no longer have tendons again… Ha! I had no idea. He told me that they are both torn completely and that he has never seen or heard of anyone having both tendons torn at the same time. I ended up getting the same thing from the next few rounds of nurses to get me registered.

I get told that I’m going to be admitted and my surgery should be sometime on Monday (the next day). They said if I only had done one that I would be sent home on crutches till they had an appointment but since I had no way of getting around until surgery was done, they just put me in for next day emergency surgery. At this time I had been sent the video of my accident and I’m showing my friend and fiancee, (who were with me the whole time). I’m not feeling bad about the situation but I’m also being flooded with thoughts on what I have going on. I  had been pulling myself up and putting myself from the hospital bed to the wheel chair on my own thanks to my upper body strength. Good thing I’ve stayed in good shape! So many thoughts and emotions were flooding my mind and there were a few visitors to my room. I was hooked up to an IV and was able to eat until midnight, then it was all IV fluids till surgery.

I couldn’t sleep very well. I stayed up eating all the food I had at 2330 so I would have food in my stomach at the very last minute. Then it was toss and turn all night. I finally was able to fall asleep only to be rudely woken up by the blood draw nurse at 0500. I tried sleeping after that and it wasn’t much if I did. The sun coming up wasn’t helping either so I sit up in bed and wait for any information about when my surgery was going to be. I get told by the nurse later on that it is scheduled for around 1100 and the doctor was going to come in and talk to me shortly. It wasn’t too much longer that he came in and I finally got to meet the man behind the knife!

I was very excited to see him and he was equally excited to see me as I was an interesting patient whom torn both achilles. Then he told me the proper term for my predicament was “bilateral achilles rupture.” It sounded so fancy. I considered myself a medical unicorn seeing as no one had seen or heard of both tendons tearing at the same time. I keep forgetting to show nurses and the doctor the video so they can see that I did nothing wrong and it was a fluke. It still seems strange to me to this day that it happened.

It’s about 1030 and I get wheeled to the operating rooms and get prepped for surgery. I meet the anesthesiologist (spell checked that word), the nurses shaved my legs and the doctor came in a marked both legs with a marker. I got put on a bed and wheeled into the OR. I breathed deep when I was told and I was OUT!

I finally come to and I realize I’m in the recovery hall. I can see a bunch of others that had just gotten done with surgery and aren’t handling the anesthetic recovery very well. I’m given lots of ice because my throat was scratchy from the breathing tube and I’m directing nurses to the patients trying to unhook themselves from the monitors. It was quite a show. They realize that I’m good to head back to my room and off I go.

I get back to my room and see my fiancee there and I also see my brother and my dad. My dad is in a grumpy mood from work and wasn’t very pleasant to be around but bad days at work can do that. My brother was happy to see me and hung out most of the day. My fiancee was extremely happy to see me because to her, I was dying. Hahaha. Everything went well and I had lot’s of visitors throughout the day. My feet were bandaged up with a splint behind my leg. The splint is cast like material the goes from the bottom of my foot to the middle of my calf and is held tightly in place by bandages. I have had them re-wrapped already but it seems worse than the first wrap.

Thanks for reading.

~Mr. Stot~

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. LindaF  |  April 16th, 2015 at 09:27

    Wow quite a story. You are in the right place for help and support. Wish you the best in your recovery. One ATR is bad enough, can’t even imagine two. Keep us posted.

  • 2. donna  |  April 16th, 2015 at 11:03

    Well this certainly tops every Achilles rupture story I’ve read, and I though a recent one in which he ruptured his skiing during an avalanche was way cool! Both at once…well as cool as it is you’ll certainly be challenged. It will be interesting to see your protocols as NWB really means NWB with you…II love your attitude and that you seem to have a great support system in place. Do let us know how things progress!

  • 3. Stuart  |  April 16th, 2015 at 14:35

    You need not feel alone. Although rare we do have at least 2 others who have been through here with simultaneous bilat ruptures. Bilatbummer is one and Atbilat is the other I am aware of. There may be more. The up side of this is you are now less likely to do a third. Having had military service you should know to always try and find an up side. Sounds like you have a good attitude.

  • 4. Mr. Stot  |  April 17th, 2015 at 13:13

    Thank you very much. Be on the lookout for updates!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • 5. Mr. Stot  |  April 17th, 2015 at 13:15

    I guess you can consider this cool but during an avalanche is some crazy stuff! I appreciate your support as well and stay tuned for updates!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • 6. Mr. Stot  |  April 17th, 2015 at 13:18

    That’s crazy there are a few others! I have seen reports of those going through rehab on one and the other one tears but not both at the exact same time. I have been looking to find more out about this rare situation and didn’t see anything, hence my own blog. I am hoping to help anyone going though the same thing. I appreciate your support and watch for updates coming soon!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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