Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Skinned Alive: The Gory Details of a Horrible Accident & a Doctor's Complicated Solution This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Twisted steel and shattered glass were all thatremained of my truck after it was unmercifully tipped upside down in aditch. Before my truck learned to roll over and play dead, it was a niceexample of a '72 International Harvester. With less than 80,000 miles onthe heart-throbbing engine and not one ding or scratch, I had theperfect truck. Not only was it in great condition, it would go anywhereI wanted, despite the fact that it was only two-wheel drive. My truckand I made countless trips down dry riverbeds and over steep hills. Eachtime, we were able to get out of anything we got into, even occasionallypulling out four-wheel drivers who had dug in too deep. My truck'sreputation earned it the nickname of "Crocodile Hunter," whichI shortened to Croc. Even after owning Croc for just a little over amonth, I loved my truck like it was a part of me. But it got put into asituation it couldn't get out of on its own.

Struck by a newerChevy pickup, Croc fishtailed until plunging into a ditch, gettingskinned alive. The mangled mess that was now my truck had gone through atraumatic experience, but it wasn't over yet.

After beingcarefully removed by a trained crew and transported to the makeshifthospital in my front yard, Croc underwent the first of many tests. Theresults were not good. Croc had sustained major structural damage to thecab and bed, a collapsed radiator, a fractured windshield, a broken leftspring, a burst shock absorber and a dislocated clutch pivot. This,along with dents and scratches, made the situation look hopeless. I hadgiven up and began to make arrangements for Croc's final resting placewhen I heard about a wonder-working surgeon who might be able to saveCroc. Doc Cole from Cole Body Shop, conveniently located near my houseand wounded friend, was said to perform death-defying surgery. Iimmediately contacted him to see if he could help. As soon as he heardthe bad news, he rushed over for an emergency house call. Afterexamining the situation, he was confident he could save Croc. Thesurgery would require delicate cab reconstruction with some plasticsurgery, a radiator transplant, fluid transfusions, amputation of thefront clip and transplant of a new one, metal graphs and some structuraltherapy. I was overjoyed that Croc had a chance. I made the appointmentand waited.

Finally, the day arrived. Croc was unable to make itto the body shop on his own, so my dad and I had to move him. Carefulnot to damage him more, it took an hour. After the amputation andtransplant of the new front clip and dash removal, Doc Cole prepared toperform the delicate metal graphs and structural surgery. With thegreatest care, he delicately removed the damaged roof, transplanted adifferent one from a donor, micro-welded and steadily ground down thewelds. Finally, Croc was allowed to leave the garage and be visited.Feeling better, but still tender, Croc was on the way torecovery.

Croc is currently undergoing intense structural therapyand will soon be ready for the fluid transfusions and radiatortransplant. While we are constantly reminded of the time-consuminghealing process of sanding and painting still to come, we both waitanxiously for the time when we will once again visit familiar riverbeds.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

bubbles15 said...
Jan. 27, 2009 at 7:23 pm
We thought this was funny, but actually didn't have much of a point. It related to a human surgery and connected car parts to an actaul opperation. This guy must have really enjoyed his car. I am glad he was able to save it because of how much they have been through.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback