This site was created for Ted Porter's friends to have access to Ted's recovery as well as raise money for his additional medical expenses.
Teds survival story is miraculous; descending a glacier in the isolated wilderness of Glacier National Park, he fell into a deep crevasse, broke his back in three places, and, completely alone and severely injured, found the strength and will to climb, crawl, and hike more than 3 miles to find help.
Ted is a very prepared mountaineer and guide. Besides his constant solo and adventurism, he routinely guides groups up the Eastern Sierras. I also know first hand, because he guided me up the highest peak in lower 48 states in June. Glacier National Park is Ted's favorite place. He came out here to have his annual family trip with his parents the first week in September and then went off to spend a couple days alone with the mountains he knows so well.
Ted set out on his trek on Tuesday September 3rd, planning it to be a simple overnight back packing trip. He quickly ascended to the summit of Mount Jackson, and everything was going according to plan. He then descended and was heading back to his intended campsite before sunset, traversing across the last few miles of his hike.
But while crossing a flat spot on the glacier Ted lost his footing, and without an ice axe in hand he was unable to self arrest, and instantly found himself sliding straight down into a three to four story crevasse. Upon impact at the bottom, Ted crushed his vertebra, breaking his back in multiple places in the lower lumber region. Besides the pain of the injury, he described all the emotions and feelings he went through in that moment of realizing what had just happened; he found it unreal that he was there alone, in pain, at the bottom of a crevasse, miles from anyone who could help.
But Ted is a born survivor, and quickly motivated himself to save his own life even as he screamed out from the horrifying pain of the injuries. His first step was to make a shrilling yet heart-wrenching videoon his phone to say goodbye in case he didnt succeed in saving himself. Then, with utter determination and strength, Ted picked his way up out of the icy crevasse using only his upper body strength. Spurred on by his minor victory, he proceeded to painfully bend down and strap his crampons on to start the 3 mile trek (broken back and all) in the direction he last remembered seeing hikers camping near his site. Inch by inch, agonizing minute by agonizing minute, Ted resolutely made his way towards his best and only hope for help, operating at this point on pure adrenaline and shock. Miraculously, he endured the hike and found the hikers exactly where he had thought they would be, despite being in a severely disoriented state!
Knowing that the medical response could not come until morning, these wonderful people saw his predicament and did everything in their power to help Ted survive through the night. They stayed attentive, talking him through the slowest moving, most painful hours of his life. At sunrise they got help, and by 10:30 am the rescue helicopter dispatched to life-flight Ted to Kalispell Regional Hospital.
Once he arrived, the doctors determined that he needed surgery immediately. They put him under and set about mounting his vertebrae back to his spine. The surgery was a success, but the doctors said that the injury was within 2 millimeters of permanent lower body paralysis.
Ted now begins a long and painful but optimistic recovery process. Day by day, Ted is improves. Sunday was full of more smiles than moans; Ted was already up walking with assistance, and challenging the physical therapist for something harder.But the therapy will take multiple months, and will require him to return home to the Midwest to continue the recovery surrounded by his wonderful family. With the amazing spirit Ted has, the love and support of his family, and with the way it has been going, we are hoping for the best.
We will keep everyone updated with all the happy news and progression- the overflow of thoughts, prayers and energy has really been a true blessing. Ted thanks you all from the bottom of his heart. Every single comment, text, phone call and pledge affects him deeply and motivates him to continue to fight through the recovery. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. God bless you all.