On April 15, 2020, Hunter, an experienced logger, headed out near Fernwood, ID, with his friend Lonnie and beloved dog to gather firewood. During his cut, Hunter didn’t experience anything unusual. Lonnie was nearby, anxiously waiting for the tree to fall. As Hunter took his last look up to watch the tree clear, he noticed something wasn’t right. With a sudden crack, Hunter realized the top of the tree was falling in the opposite direction than intended. A rotten portion of the tree near the top caused the tree to snap and unexpectedly change its path. Hunter recalls seeing the tree break off and head toward him. Realizing he was in harm’s way, he began to run. Unable to get out of the way, the tree struck his body and knocked him to the ground and over an embankment. Lonnie rushed to him and began to render aid but quickly realized he needed additional help. Without his cell phone or a radio, Lonnie had to leave Hunter to summon EMS.
Fernwood EMS and Emida Fire worked tirelessly to extract Hunter and get him to the landing zone, where a Life Flight Network helicopter was waiting to transport Hunter. He was flown to Kootenai Heath in Coeur d’Alene, ID, and underwent surgery to stop the bleeding in his brain and remove an enlarging clot. After being stabilized, Hunter was transported by Life Flight Network to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA, where he stayed for 38 days due to his severe injuries.
Today, Hunter is home and recovering well with the love and support of his family and community. From a serious head injury to multiple complex fractures, miraculously, Hunter has made an amazing recovery. He is back in school and on track to graduate this spring.
“I am thankful for them saving my life,” said Hunter.