In early February, Garrett Dawson (age 22) was found asleep in his car that had been dragged into the ditch at a corner near the Teulon area during a horrible snow storm.
Garrett was on his way to get gas on a residential back road with plans to return home for a date when this event happened, around 3pm that afternoon. The winds picked up and unfortunately he had no working phone to contact anyone. He decided to get out of his car to find help. Garrett tried walking through the deep snow when he lost his boot and was struggling to find it due to the wind, deep snow, and panic. He was able to find it, but his feet were already burning from the cold, both boots filled with snow. He returned to his car in hopes to warm his feet back up and try again. He tried honking hoping that by a rare chance someone would hear. Wishing he was more prepared, But hindsight is 20/20. He then blasted the heat and curled up in his oversized winter jacket, tucking his feet in, trying to warm up. He wanted to try to walk again to reach help, but is unsure how long he went before the cold or shock had him slip into a deep sleep.
The car ran out of gas at some point. The blowing drifted snow made the car look abandoned. No one drove by or stopped until he was found around 7-8am the next morning by the older gentleman that surly saved his life (and we thank you so much, whoever you are). Garrett’s feet had fallen out of his cocooned bundle through the night and were frozen solid.
The older fellow who found Garrett brought him to the Teulon hospital where he was then transported to Health Science Centre Emergency. They took great care of him and thawed his feet with the best methods we know. There is unfortunately so much that is unknown about frost bite and emergency had never seen limbs frozen so solid on a living body.
Garret is lucky to be alive.
After 3 weeks of painful recovery, it was determined, due to his bone not recovering from being frozen and tissue death, that his feet could not be saved. He has to undergo a double below the knee amputation.
The recovery for amputee is a long one mentally and physically. Manitoba is lucky to have a fully covered basic prosthesis to help Garrett through the first process of his journey, and he is fortunate to get a month of free amp rehabilitation after the procedure
He hopes to continue to ski, hike, bike, run, swim and travel. All things that he loves. He doesn’t want to let this hold him back, and will fight hard to overcome his limitations. Maybe even pushing himself to new things. He has been given a second chance at life and he wants to live it to the fullest.
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