RIVERSIDE – Skydiving instructor and Menifee resident Nick Fener knows where he’d be without the trauma team at Riverside County Regional Medical Center.
“I wouldn’t be here to tell my story,” he said resolutely. “I was in the best place possible.”
While videotaping two skydivers who were on a tandem jump in May 2011, the right side of Fener’s parachute collapsed at about 100 feet and he hurtled to the ground in a corkscrew. At the county medical center in Moreno Valley, surgeons removed his ruptured spleen and treated two broken vertebrae, spinal-cord damage, broken ribs, and legs so devastated by fractures that one ankle disintegrated and Fener was missing three inches of shin bone. Several weeks later, surgeons amputated both legs below the knee.