A licensed pilot and experienced skydiver, Brian Moriarty is no stranger to taking a leap.
“It’s the exhilaration, adrenaline, knowledge and skill necessary to take something so inherently dangerous and make it routine,” said Moriarty, who works as a paramedic. He describes skydiving as a meditative experience “where you are forced to focus on what is taking place in the moment and be consumed in it 110 percent.”
In 2015, with 1,000 jumps under his belt, Moriarty embarked on what seemed to be a “routine and unremarkable” jump on a beautiful June day in upstate New York.
“Everything I know of that day has been told to me,” said the New Providence, N.J. resident. “I have no recollection of that dive. I was flying a small, high-performance parachute, which was unforgiving of errors. It seemed like I was in a turn too low and could not level out in time.”
An Unsurvivable Impact
Onlookers estimated that Moriarty, who was jumping from 13,500 feet, struck the ground face-first at roughly 30 mph. While an ambulance was called immediately, “most of my friends thought they had witnessed an unsurvivable impact,” he said.
After losing consciousness for several minutes, he woke up and, remarkably, gave his phone password to the EMTs and directed them to call family and friends. Fortuitously, the nearest medical helicopter in the area had originated from the same New Jersey hospital where Moriarty worked. His shocked colleagues transported him to the Level I trauma center at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth).
“I had broken everything between my knees and neck,” Moriarty says. “Actually, broken isn’t the right word. I shattered my femur into six pieces.”
Continue reading Moriarty's remarkable tale of recovery via Advancing Care in the Hudson Valley.