Fall victim and family say Thank You
Tracy Bernard is home again after accident while hunting
November 1, 2012
Editor's Note: Pinedale Online received the following open letter to the community from the Bernard family.
Tracy and Connie went up the hill to fetch a big fat elk, Tracy fell down and broke his crown and Connie had to call for help.
We would like to thank everyone who answered our call for help.
To the dispatcher who took the call, thank you. Your professionalism and calm voice let me know help was on the way and it would be OK.
To the sheriff’s deputy that rove up and down the road with your lights on. I have never been so happy to see sheriff’s office lights in my life. You gave me hope. Thank you. This act meant more than you will ever know, someone was looking.
To TIP TOP Search and Rescue, I don’t even know how to tell you thank you. If not for you, my husband would have died on that mountain. I am sad to say I don’t remember all your names, but I will never forget our faces or your voices. You all were the miracle I prayed to God for. You all are unsung heroes in our eyes. Thank you so much.
To the helicopter pilot, Thank you. When I saw you circle us and knew you saw us, was one of the greatest joys in my life. Unless you have been on the ground looking up for help as I was, you will never know the feeling of joy you bring - you made me laugh and cry at the same time. Thank you.
To the nurse, You are my Angel. You made sure my grandchildren got their grandpa back. Thank you from all of our hearts.
To Cami and Donnie Rodgers, Thank you for being there at the foot of the mountain for me. I was so happy to see a familiar smiling face at the end of this part of our journey. Your love and compassion knows no boundaries. Love you guys and thank you so much.
To the person at the airport who let my mom (Judy) and sister (Gail) meet the Life Flight helicopter and tell Tracy they loved him as they put him in the plane. This may not have been much to you, but it was a lot to us. Thank you.
I know I have missed many people for this, I am sorry. But thank you all. Without all of you the outcome would have been VERY different.
Thank you just does not seem enough. But Thank You.
- Tracy Bernard, Connie Bernard and all our family
Editor’s update: Tracy and Connie Bernard went elk hunting on Sunday, October 28th near the Muddy Elk Feed Ground, southeast of Boulder. While trying to scope out elk, Tracy Bernard climbed onto a rock for a better view of what was below. As he tried to get back down, his foot caught on a crack and he lost his balance and fell, ultimately slipping and rolling off of a ledge, falling 70 feet straight down onto a rock ledge. The fall should have killed him, but by some miracle didn’t. It did crack his skull in three places and break his knee resulting his leg bone poking out of his pants. Fortunately they had a cell phone with them, but with only one bar reception. It was enough for Connie to dial 9-1-1 and reach the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher, who in turn activated Sublette County Tip Top Search and Rescue. The Bernards were hunting alone with no one else nearby for help. Connie carefully climbed down to the ledge to check on her husband. He was bleeding in several places and seriously injured. Due to inclement weather, a helicopter was sent in from Riverton, Wyoming. A flight nurse came out of the helicopter and attended to her husband. Due to the rough terrain, the helicopter could not land near where he fell. Medical and Search and Rescue personnel had to package Tracy up on a stretcher, and then be carried off the ledge by about 8 of the Tip Top Search and Rescue people over to where the helicopter was waiting. All this took place while it was snowing and through very deep growth. The helicopter took Tracy Bernard to the Pinedale Airport where a waiting plane took him to a hospital in Idaho. He is now home and doing fine, but the consensus of the medical people was that he was lucky to be alive.