Our loved and awesome Shahn had a bad accident on Saturday, 8-19-17 that could've taken his life. Lucky for him and us he is still here.
This was not the only part of this accident that could have ended badly for someone. His best friend Nick Gianoli was also involved...
After a long hard day of mountain biking up at Silver Mountain's bike park, Nick and Shahn drove back to Spokane for a nap. Around 6pm they loaded up the trikes to go rip down a new road that Shahn had found and wanted to show Nick how awesome and fun it was.
They stopped by Laura's house to pick up Vanessa because she was going to taxi them to the top with Shahn's truck. They arrived at the finish line and picked up Tyler (Shahn's brother) who was waiting at the bottom of the run ready for another good time racing some trikes!
At the top of this epic 1.9-mile course, they unloaded their trusty stead's and suited up for the ride down.
The first run was flawless, with a very close race between all three competitors.
Time for run #2.
They loaded the trikes into the back of the truck and back to the top they went.
The second run started out great. Tyler quickly assumed the lead position with Nick not far behind. Shahn was in 3rd but was quickly gaining on them as they raced into the first major right-hand turn; a marked 15 mph turn.
This is the point when time seemed to stand still. Nick is only about 40 feet in front of Shahn as they nuke into this 15mph corner at a clip of 35mph+. Shahn is closing in, then all of the sudden he see's Nick's inside rear tire lift off of the pavement. Instant fear and panic for Nicks wellbeing slammed Shahn right in the chest. Nick has to correct course instantly or chance flipping his trike and wrecking.
Nick intuitively knew how to gain control by counter steering, which does bring the wheel back to earth, but only for a second and has him pointing less into the corner and more towards the embankment lurking only 8 feet away by this point.
Because of their speed going into this corner and the fact that it has no natural bank shape to it, leaves Nick with no good options.
His inside wheel lifts again, causing yet another countersteer and now has him only inches away from the edge. No more options left. Nick's feet are down in an attempt to slow the momentum. Dust rolls up behind him. Then, poof, he's gone, out of site, airborne for a good 25-30 feet!
Snap back to rider #3.
He has just witnessed what felt like a good minute of mayhem crammed onto 3-4 seconds. Reality resumes and Shahn now realizes that in those microseconds of time his chance of making the corner has now been stolen from him. He see's where he is headed with no time to correct course. "What the heck am I doing!!!" flashes through his mind as he leaves the edge of the road.
18 inches to the left of where Nick just went off, 6-7 feet of air and about 4 1/2 feet up, Shahn slams his trike and body into a huge pine tree at a speed of 30+ mph.
Instant pain, he yells out. Vanessa hears him as she passes around the corner in the truck thinking he has just passed an opponent and is yelling in triumph, but also knows that she's not that far behind and should have seen them before they rounded the next corner. Vanessa is now concerned.
Blood starts to flow from Shahn's forehead, upper right eye, nose, and mouth. He knows that something isn't right when he tries to turn himself over to his left side. More pain! "I've dislocated my hip," he thinks to himself.
Nick! Nick, are you ok?! He cant see Nick but then hears him respond, " yeah buddy, I'm ok".
More yelling resumes as Shahn begins to feel more of the effects of coming to an instant stop from 30+ mph.
Nick appears from down the embankment towing his trike and kneels down next to Shahn. "Where are you hurt, man? " Nick says with concern. "I think I've dislocated my hip and my face is bleeding," says Shahn as he slowly takes off his full-face helmet. "We need to get you up to the road," says Nick. "I don't know if I can but let's try," says Shahn, as he shivers in pain. Nick is a very strong a capable guy and kneels down and wraps Shahn's right arm around his neck and stands him up. Shahn yells out as the left leg goes limp, causing even more pain as the dislocated hip sags further out of place. Nick quickly and gently lays him back down. "I think we need to call for help," says Nick. That's the last thing Shahn wants to do. Meanwhile, Nick is climbing the rest of the hill to the road with the trikes to mark out where they went off so Vanessa and Tyler can locate them when they come back up.
Vanessa arrives at the bottom of the run hoping to see all 3 of us at the finish line. Her heart sinks as she rolls up and only sees Tyler. "load up, She says, Shahn's hurt, we need to go back up to get them"!
Tyler and Vanessa arrive about 6 mins later. Nick is on the phone with 911 giving description and location to the dispatch. 15 minutes later the first responders arrive. Post Falls Firemen. A great crew that really knew what they were doing.
After going through all the preliminary checks they started planning Shahn's extraction process. First, they had to get a sheet under his body so they could lift him onto the trundle. This was a slow, painful process. Next was to get him up the hill.
Since Shahn was on a fairly steep embankment they decided to connect the winch cable of the fire truck to the front of the trundle (Gurney) to assist them while they lifted and walked him up the 10-12 feet, to the road. It worked perfectly.
One last painful sheet transfer to the Ambulance table and he was loaded and off to Kootenai Medical Center. Vanessa Nick and Tyler followed close behind.
They arrived at the hospital around 8:45.
After a short while in the ER, they advanced him to trauma status and got him into his own room. Next was another transfer from ambulance bed to a hospital bed. Before they did this, one of the nurses mentioned that they should use a hover mat. Shahn didn't quite know what that was but had a good idea and really liked that idea. In no time he was laying on the hover mat on the last bed he would be on until surgery the next afternoon.
Next came the wait. Then a series of CAT scans of his entire body. The pain meds that he had received in the ambulance were now beginning to wear off. And this was a very unfortunate time for this to be happening because now was the time that they x-ray techs wanted him to turn onto his back from his right side and flatten his legs out so they could get a good scan of his left hip. He told them that he was a good 1.5 hours from his last dose of Dilaudid and wasn't going to be able to do this movement without being in severe pain. His words fell on deaf ears. They said there wasn't anything they could do about that now. Shahn asked them to figure something out, send him back to the room to get another dose if they had to. They weren't having any of it. So with no choice left, Shahn assumed the position and started deep breathing. Meanwhile, they want you to be perfectly still while they manipulate your broken body into positions that are no longer normal, so as to get the image they are after. Shahn explained that he had to go into a different reality for those few, long minutes in order to cope with the crazy amount of pain.
After all the scans, one Dr. came in and stitched up his right, upper, eyelid. Then it was a long wait until the next afternoon for the first round of surgeries to be performed.
Shahn sustained 3 major injuries; A dislocated left hip with a break on the ball that had to be screwed back on and set back into the socket. His left ankle bone (medial malleolus) broke off and had to be screwed back on, and his right foot sustained multiple fractures and the navicular bone was crushed into 8 pieces.
He has received surgery on all of these injuries. The hip and left ankle we're done the next day following the wreck and his right foot was operated on Thursday 8-31-17. Why the wait? Because the trauma caused significant swelling and the surgeon needed that swelling to subside in order to successfully perform the foot surgery.
After the first two surgeries on Sunday, Shahn stayed at the hospital for 3 more days receiving close care and monitoring while they figured out the right combination of meds to give him to deal with the pain of his crushed right foot. He had many visitors from Family and friends throughout this time.
Both Vanessa and Nick stayed in the room the first couple nights. Then Nick had to drive on to see his friends in Seattle and Portland before returning home to Vegas after his nice, long vacation. Nick did get hurt. He broke his right big toe and sustained quite a few bumps and scrapes that will take time to recover from. But he cares not to talk about these. He's very tough and just wants to she Shahn walking and back to normal asap.
The OT staff at Kootenai had him doing bed transfers to a wheelchair and from the wheelchair to the toilet.
They gave him exercises to begin doing 3 times a day but warned him to be conscious of the pain and not push through it. After all the work put in by the incredible staff at the hospital, he was able to be discharged on Wed the 23rd.
Some current info about Shahn and his Family are as follows.
Shahn has been building a successful and loved renovations company for the past 2.5 years and this injury has put all of that on hold for the next 4-6 months. (Recovery time and rehab)
Because of the type and severity of injury to both his left hip and right foot he has been put on a zero weight-bearing plan for 12 weeks. So Shahn the thrill seeker is now confined to a wheelchair and completely unable to work as a contractor.
He's in really great spirits and knows that this is only temporary. But like any breadwinner, he is concerned about where the funds are going to come from while he's recovering. And we haven't even started seeing the medical bills yet.
We are so thankful for all the love and support we have received through this traumatic experience. At this time we're looking into every option for continued support. That is why we have opened a campaign on go fund me to give the opportunity for anyone, should they be impressed to offer support, to give in any way they want to help in Shahn's recovery.
We are so blessed and thankful to have the awesome family and friends that we do.
Forever love you guys! You know who you are! Nick, Tyler, Simioni's, Dad, Mandon, Sis and Kevin, Mom, Kyle, Joey, Caleb and Calista, Jenelle, Scott and Mike, Max, Kaitlyn, Heather, Laura, Mary, Suzie, Otis Orchards SDA Church Family, and everyone at the Globe and Scotty's, also all the amazing team at Kootenai Medical Center! Hands down the absolute best treatment we have ever received at a hospital!!
The Healing process is underway, and with a full recovery in sight, Shahn is trusting that his and his wife's needs will be met until he can walk and return to work.
We would like to thank you in advance for your support, every dollar given, will be received in thankfulness.
Every kind thought, and prayer is noticed and appreciated.
Without your help, this would not possible.
Friends and Family, you're a blessing to Shahn, as he has been to you.
Much love, and thankfulness.
- Melissa Hanewicz
- Scott Wilburn
- Kendra Wilmot
- Tanya Puchalski