How it Feels…To Fall From a 12-foot Ladder


By Evan Riggs

How It Feels2

One year ago, 20-year old Dylan Galliert had the scare of a lifetime when he fell from the top of a 12-foot ladder while he was working in Scott City, Kansas. This is what it felt like.

It was Wednesday, Feb. 17. I don’t remember the fall, or going to the intensive care Unit in Scott City. I just remember waking up in the airplane on the way to Wichita. Just a few hours earlier, I had fallen off the top of a 12-foot ladder, and broken two vertebrae in my back and two in my neck.

I was doing electrical work for the new Loves in Scott City, and I was running a pipe through the wall for a water heater. I hit my elbow on the trough that the wire goes through, and after scuffling on the ladder, I blacked out. They said I fell onto another electrical panel that almost ripped my ear off. It turned me around and threw me on a spool of wire, which is what broke the bones.

At first I felt more fear than pain because I was on morphine. But I was in a lot of pain when the morphine wore off three days later and I was coherent. My head was ringing, and I had a sharp shooting pain from my neck down to my back. It was definitely the worst pain I’ve ever felt.

I had very little feeling in my upper body, and I could hardly move anything. I was scared, wondering what was going to happen to me.

A day or so later, I was able to start rehab, but it was just the doctors moving my legs, toes and arms while I lay in bed. It felt like my body wasn’t even there and I could hardly move anything.

My rehab started a few days after I got to Wichita. The doctors started by moving my legs, toes and arms while I lay in bed. Then they moved me to the edge of my bed and tried to get me to be able to bend my knees again. I had to completely relearn everything. I had to re-learn how to walk, and how to grab things with my hands.

I almost threw up the first time I stood up. The rehab probably took four weeks, and I absolutely hated it. I hated rehab because it took so much out of me.

By the end of March I had finally returned home. I’m back working my old job, but I can’t climb tall ladders.  My right hand is still really tight, so sometimes I can’t even open it. And I still have no sensation from my left side to the bottom of my ribs.

Everything is going pretty well, I only wish I had full use of my hand.