For possibly the first time in my ADHD life, my brain was 100 percent focused on the situation. The rush was incredible. I yelled out to anyone to grab my first aid kit out of my bike. Someone handed me my sleeping bag instead. I felt a bit of panic set in, but stayed in control and repeated, "I need the fucking first aid kit!"
I had to cut off his jacket to see where the blood was coming from. The scissors weren't in my bag, so Brad gave me his Bowie knife. The braided Kevlar fabric on Chad's Motoport Air Mesh Kevlar Jacket jacket was, of course, very cut resistant. We finally removed the sleeve and saw the injury. I lifted his arm to get a better look. It was cold and dead. It was bad. The gash not only went deep, it continued through the entire bone and almost all the way out the other side. I lifted his arm up a little to get a better look. About one inch from his shoulder was a thin piece of skin holding onto the rest of his arm. The blood wasn't spurting, so I didn't think he was bleeding that badly until later when I realized that the dry dirt of the high desert was absorbing most of the fluid.
Someone puked again. His bones didn't look like I expected. They had a bunch of bloody pinhole-sized dots. I twisted his arm around to line it up correctly and tried to reattach it with the help of some small bandages from the med kit.
Chad was starting to talk now. He asked me what had happened? I told him that he had been in a motorcycle accident. He was very calm and said, "Hmm. Motorcycles? I like motorcycles. That makes sense."
He asked me who was in charge, and I tried to keep him calm by telling him that I was in charge and that I have medical training. Looking back on the situation, Chad saved is own life by staying so calm. His mind was looping and he kept asking me the same questions over and over again. What happened? Who is in charge? He had no clue as to who any of us were, the year, the month, or what country he was in.
Brad and Billy were frantically trying to get cell phone reception to call 911. With minimal reception at 7,000 feet above sea level in the middle of nowhere, they would get connected to someone, talk for 30 seconds, and lose the signal. A registered nurse just getting off of her shift at the ER happened to be driving the first car that came upon the scene. She had a pair of scissors that we used to remove the rest of his jacket. She kept track of his pulse and blood oxygen content with a finger monitor.
Three hours later the EMTs showed up. The guys were fresh out of school and were having trouble placing him on the backboard properly. They were trying to apply the board to him while he was still laying face down. I felt uncomfortable telling certified medics how to properly get him on the backboard while keeping his neck stable.
After he was stabilized to the board, a group of us gently lifted him and carried him out of the ditch. We needed to place him on the gurney, but the RN was in the way, holding Chad. I told her that she had to move. She said she couldn't. I raised my voice, telling her again, but she just looked at me and shook her head. I realized then that she was keeping Chad's arm from falling off the backboard and startling the rest of the panicked group.