A Thank You Letter

On January 11th, we published the story of a fishing vessel medevac,
Coast Guard Medevacs Man from Fishing Vessel.

On NEW YORK–A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew medevaced a 46-year old man, struck in the back of the neck by heavy fishing equipment and suffering chest pains and experiencing difficulty breathing, from a fishing vessel 46 miles southeast of Sandy Hook, N.J., at 11 a.m. today.

This morning, I received the following comment on the story and wanted to share it.

Hello to all,

The date is January 30th and I am the man that was injured in the above story.

I arrived home two days ago after 7 days in hospital and a further 7 days in a rehabilitation facility.

I want to thank every single person who helped in the rescue and without a doubt I am alive ONLY because of an amazing team effort.

This is not hyperbole, my injuries were much more severe than anyone initially realized, with spinal fractures and severe internal damage.

My wonderful surgeon Dr Michael Laspinusa at the Jersey Shore University medical center actually told my wife and myself that he had never known anyone to survive these injuries.

In his opinion, internal bleeding would have been fatal within a short period of time. Miraculously, my spinal chord and aorta remained intact and hence my long term prognosis is good.

While I face a long period of recuperation, and must wear a stabilization brace for many months, there is hope that I can lead a pretty normal life.

I do have titanium rods and all the hardware that goes with it inserted into my spine, that is a small price to pay for the gift of life.

From the crew of the Coastguard cutter Willow, to the helicopter crew out of Atlantic City, as well as my crew on the Dona Martita and all the wonderful staff at the hospital in New Jersey and rehabilitation center in Portland, Maine, I wish to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

If anyone out there has any personal email addresses of anyone involved, I would be very grateful if you would pass them on to me at martynkeen@yahoo.com so that I may send them a personal message.


Martyn Keen

Too often, the men and women of the Coast Guard never know what happened to the people they save. If you know any of the people involved in this case, please pass Mr. Keen’s letter on to them.

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