“I’m Still Alive”

January 6, 2010
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Chris Fine, 51, has worked on a roof since he was 20 years old. When it came to being scared of heights, he was not one of them. He says, “Going up on a three story roof was like taking a walk in the park. “

“When you have worked on roofs for your whole life, you tend to become a little lackadaisical and forget about how dangerous your job can be,” says Chris.

When he was finishing up roofing, since it was Friday, he told his men they could go home early and that he could finish up the job. He was on his last trip to the top of the roof when his shirt got caught on a venting pipe.

“I quickly tried to grab the vent to stop myself from falling, but couldn’t get a good enough grip”

He fell 20 feet off the roof.

“When I woke up, I didn’t quite know what happened. I got to my feet and went back onto the roof. I didn’t even feel like I hurt anything.”

When he got home that night, he told his wife. She insisted on him going to the doctor, but he said he would be fine. He was in much more pain now that his adrenaline was gone. But he figured he could just take some Advil and sleep it off.

The next morning he was still in pain, but knew he had to go back to work. Over the next few months, his neck wasn’t getting any better. Because he didn’t have good insurance he couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. Instead to help get rid of the pain, he decided to get acupuncture.
“As the lady started to move up towards my neck, I told her that was where most of my pain was. All of a sudden she jumped away and said, ‘your neck is broke, your neck is broke.’”
He did not believe her. But she would not touch him again. Chris decided he should go to doctor.
“I could not believe it when the doctor came back telling me that my neck was broken. She couldn’t believe I lived through falling off the rough, breaking my neck. “
The doctor told him he fractured a vertebrae. She said he was lucky he didn’t damage his spinal cord because had he; he would have most likely died. She told him he would have to be in a neck brace for six months and would get some pain pills. He knows how lucky he is to still be alive today. The next time he goes onto a roof, isn’t going to be a “walk in the park.”





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