I met Ellie at ASCEND in Las Vegas in October. She’s had a bad few weeks, but I’m glad to see she’s on the mend.

People have asked if I will climb again and while it’s hard to think about now, I really do love it so much, and will likely try again, but may explore other sports as well.

“We risk death doing those things but it’s those moments that make you feel alive… What do you think is gonna happen when you go to outer space you’re risking your life? How am I going to get back and rock climb, you are gonna do it with more knowledge, if you are already in that that’s why your femur broke, in the future when you are healthy rock climb all you want,” said Kagy.

She’s tough, and I hope she gets to space.

7 thoughts on “Ouch”

  1. Wonderful video.

    It makes me wonder if she spent so much time writing about space that it negatively impacted her bone density, as happens in long-duration spaceflight. Perhaps NASA should do a study on aerospace writers to see if they tend to have less bone mass than average people, especially people who do experience intermittent weightlessness like X-Game competitors and paratroopers.

  2. Interesting point about the danger of femur vs. tibia fracture. When designing triplicated avionics or duplicate valves, I often reflect on the fact that nature did not see fit to equip us with backups in the most critical cases. In some cases (brain, liver, vertebrae) our single points have graceful failure modes for small traumas. In others (heart, aorta, spinal cord, femur?), that’s all she wrote.

    The femoral artery is one of those “design flaws” in the human body that were never worked out by evolution. There are others – for example the knee, shoulder, and spine have probably not had time to evolve to upright stance which likely explains their tendency to explode at the slightest provocation. The femoral artery failure mode seems like something that could be “designed around” in most cases – maybe extra thick arterial walls, or branching to multiple routes with smaller Cd that could clot if cut. I suspect it’s more that a fractured femur was pretty much always fatal before the victim could reproduce, regardless of whether it was due to middle-term immobility or acute internal bleeding. You can set and split a tibial fracture, but a snapped femur was probably a relatively quick death sentence one way or the other until rather recently.

  3. Since people commonly survived full leg amputations under the worst possible conditions, it’s unlikely a broken femur was an automatic death sentence. As long as you don’t bleed out promptly or get a severe infection, you’ve got a pretty good chance. Medical literature includes numerous instances of astounding injuries that were survivable. When I was a kid, the newspapers had the story of Eddie Knowles, a boy who tried to hop a freight and got his arm torn off at the shoulder. His brachial artery clotted by the time he walked home, and the arm was the first successful limb reattachment. And it goes way back. One of the first Neanderthal skeletons found had had a successful limb amputation (meaning there was a healed upper arm bone showing he lived on). Neanderthals hunted big game without projectile weapons and their skeletons often show “football injuries.”

  4. I stopped watching her after her defense of Portland video. I am not a Democrat though, so I hope she heals and gets back to doing whatever she wants.

    1. I didn’t see her Portland video. So this is going to be about me, who was born and raised in Portland.

      I love the Portland I used to know, not the Portland that currently exists. A lot of the Californians who f’d up their own state have long since moved to Oregon to f’ it up, too.

      Not her fault.

      30-some years ago I availed myself of a professional employment opportunity in Florida.

      35 years later, it was the best decision I every made. Florida has been better for my investment portfolio than Californian-over run
      Oregon would have ever been.

      I love Oregon, and Portland, but only as I remember them, not as they currently exist as California plantation proxies.

      I will never again live in Oregon.

      I truly hate those who have made that a real thing.

  5. Ellie ought to bounce back quickly – she has a lot of notably bouncy bits. She’s on my list of World’s Cutest Adult Female Humans. The only other space-related entries on said list are Hayley Arcenaux from Inspiration4 and Jessie Anderson from the SpaceX launch webcasts.

  6. Thank you for reminding me that I should have made at least a portion of my previous post about the subject of the original post.

    (I actually did, defending another Portlander, if not by actual name).

    In Ellie’s defense, I was yelling at the scream to attract her attention that the rocket launch behind her was in progress.

    Frankly, it was just a thing that happened. She’ll me more situationally aware in the future.

    Still, I don’t remember any previous launch that made me smile because of inadvertent entertainment.

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