Now disabled people from all over the world are applying to my company Makalu Extreme Climbing Adventure so that my team and I could help them realize their Dream. Why do they come to us? They say I can understand someone else's pain. And indeed, I can not only understand, I still, and to this day, sometimes, as if I plunge into the events of 2012. Then I could have remained disabled, unable to move. But with an inhuman effort of will, I returned to the Mountains and made world records in high-altitude mountaineering and after that accident I went to 8 x 8000+. It's been 10 years. But a part of my soul, body and consciousness still remains there, on K2 in 2012. After the accident on K2, I was a plant for many months, and I know by myself what effort it takes to be normal. That's probably why I can understand someone else's pain. ------------------------------------------------------ After the accident on K2, 2012, survival instructions
I am often asked to write something, like a motivator or something like that. I don't even know how to say it right. In general, sometimes in life there are such events that still do not kill, and if you survive, they definitely make you stronger. After such events, the blunt attacks of competitors or the infidelities of husbands seem to be just childish babble. At the same time, you do not experience any emotions. What, after all, makes the character iron? Sometimes, one event, and everything that follows from it, is enough.
That morning I stayed to make tea and breakfast in the first. At three o'clock in the morning, Dawa, Abbas, Martin and Adam carried the final load to the Camp2. Adam and Martin will go to see what's above and stay there overnight. Dawa and Abbas will come down by 6 a.m. on the Camp 1 and we all go to rest at the Base Camp until the rope arrives. Everything was going according to plan. The men returned by 6 am. We drank tea. Peter and Nasir are in a hurry, the first to go down, then Abbas and Yura. Dawa and I are tinkering with the tent - we are strengthening it so that it does not tear. We begin the descent. I always do it very quickly-the rope starts to stink. A few minutes and I'm on a run. The time is 6-30 am. Yura is right under me. - Come on, come on, don't delay!, I shout at him. Dawa approaches. Yura pulls the rope. I'm buttoning up. Hurry down! I hear a whistle. I understand what is happening, but at this moment my rope is already broken by a rockfall. I'm flying upside down and on my back on a hard 50-degree slope. It's good that he's wearing a helmet. It throws me over my head twice. It's good that the neck wasn't torn off. All thoughts flash through my head. If I don't stop, then this is the end. It is necessary to turn over on your stomach, as they teach in the allpinist school. In a matter of seconds, I manage to get into the right position, but there is no ice axe in my hands anyway. If I don't hack myself, then this is the end. When I automatically try to slow down with my hands, I see how all the nails come off my hands, and my hands leave a bloody trail, I turn on the crampons with all my might. It breaks one leg, turns me upside down. The fall is stopped. Dawa and Yura are coming to me. I was carried out into an avalanche chute. The rest of the participants are afraid of this situation and are removed. Dawa cuts the rope. They splint my leg and begin the descent. We don't have a first aid kit with us and I'm constantly sick of pain. They take me right down the avalanche chute so as not to hit my foot on the rocks. If there is an avalanche, then we are all finished. I can see by the lips that the men are praying. While we lived in the Camp one, we saw what avalanches were going on here. But God let us survive that time too. When they lowered me almost to the takeaway cone, Abbas came with a first aid kit. I prick my knee with tramadol-6 ampoules. Now about 300 meters along the moraine to the deposit camp. There we have a tent and one sleeping bag. At first we wanted to completely remove this camp, but Dawa insisted that one tent and a sleeping bag should be here just in case. And this case was fully provided. Dawa, Yura and Abbas make a stretcher and carry me to the tent. But there is practically nothing to stay here for the night - everything is already upstairs. They leave Yura with me. Dawa goes upstairs to the first one to bring everything necessary for the night, and Abbas goes to Concordia for rescuers - the three of them can't carry me through the icefall. I am in a semi-delirious state. I'm calling my friends by satellite- Chatur and Mom. I tell them what happened to me. I can't imagine how I will be carried through the icefall yet. I'm shaking. All my clothes are frozen. Dawa is finally coming. After letting me down for many hours, now he has brought a lot of necessary things again. He changes my clothes, lights the primus, gives me a lot to drink. Suddenly Adam and Martin appear, they found out about what happened on the radio. Adam says that he will lead the rescue operation and they will definitely take me down through the icefall "We NEVER leave our own, don't be afraid," he says. Viktor Kozlov calls at night. THANK HIM VERY MUCH. He organizes a rescue helicopter for me with great speed. The night passes restlessly. I feel really bad. In the morning, a rescue squad led by Adam appears - Martin, Abbas, three Pakistani rescuers, Simone and our cook Hussein. Dawa and Yura also have a hard day ahead of them again. They tie me to a stretcher and start transporting me. Before that, of course, I prick my knee with tramadol. There are a lot of huge crevaice and ice walls in the icefall, I am very worried inside that they will drop me. But the group led by Adam very carefully carries me through all obstacles. In the middle of the icefall, Peter and Nissar join the rescue operation. It takes us four hours to get to Base Camp. They bring a stretcher with me to the dining room. For the first time in many days, the whole team is coming together. Adam brings and pours everyone a glass of alcohol. We dilute this case with water.
"This is the best anesthesia," Adam says. Then he adds, "I was very worried about how we would carry you through the icefall, but we did it. Four hours is also not a bad time. ...A rescue helicopter takes me to the hospital in Scardu. Local doctors were afraid to open my leg. They're sending me to Islamabad. Then the misadventures begin. The insurance company RESSO-GARANTIA REFUSES TO PAY FOR THE STECHER CASE. It stupidly lacks the amount of insurance coverage. In those early years, I didn't quite understand how much money was needed for a serious injury. I generally ruled out the possibility that such an injury could be. So, I can share, 30 thousand dollars is negligible, you need at least 50 thousand or, better, 100. I learned this lesson for myself for the rest of my life. For my money, I drive a jeep from Scardu to Islamabad for two days with my leg mutilated and swollen twice, I get together with Dawa to the El Shifa hospital in Islamabad. We are crossing territories controlled by Taliban terrorists. There's no connection internet ore phone, nothing like that. I feel really bad at night, because the Jeep shakes a lot. We stop for the night at the Taliban village. They sheltered us for the night, fed us, did not take money from us, and did not take us hostage either. Dawa speaks Urdu perfectly, he told the Taliban our whole story. They are also in shock, so they decided to help. Among them, then, there are also Good People. El Shifa Hospital, Islamabad, August 2012. I'm lying in the operating room, the surgeon outlines the situation to me. Apparently, the seriousness of what happened has not yet reached me. Yes, I'm thinking very slowly, apparently from the fact that I've been on morphine for a week. At best, the surgeon says, you will be able to do something in a year. I presumptuously think that I will get up immediately after the operation. I was just brought to the hospital. A leg torn off, literally, keeps only on the skin. It's all black because of internal bleeding, it's probably already rotting. I got to the hospital a week after the accident. An urgent operation is needed. In general, I am disconnected for the duration of the operation. To make it clear what's going on. As a consequence of the rope breaking by a rockfall, I flew away very badly. My left leg is torn off. Complete rupture of knee ligaments. This leg is held only on the skin. From internal bleeding, it was blown apart and turned black. A surgeon, a Pakistani from Islamabad, undertook to sew this leg. After 8 hours, I am taken out of the operating room. My comrades look very scared. They thought I was dead because the operation lasted a very long time, 8 hours. Anesthesia begins to depart. Wild pain, I'm just yelling. They're taking me to the operating room again. Something went wrong there, they say, that's why it hurts so much. I'm almost losing consciousness. They put me to sleep for another 4 hours. They bring me to my ward again. It is separate, generally cool, like an expensive hotel. If you get into the Soviet department hospital in this case, then it's generally a tin.... Time merges into pain and sleep after injections of tromadol. I've been lying like this for about a week, without movements or thoughts. I understand out of the corner of my mind that our whole team is climbing K2 now. And I'm lying here. No luck, the Dream and Life are broken into small pieces. Somehow I have to find the assemblage point. It still somehow does not fit into my creation. Ten days ago I was carrying a coil of rope, 200 m, on K2. I ridiculed and called jellyfish those who were afraid to go up. And now I'm lying in this ward and I can't move because of the pain. I'm slowly getting used to the pain. I really want to try to get up. The physiotherapist comes. Apparently, my resolute attitude is immediately visible.
- I want to try walking, I really need to go back to the Mountains, - I tell him
- Well, tomorrow, assistants will be needed, - says the physiologist
- I ran a marathon after giving birth in two weeks, I will be able to
- We'll see, - and leaves I don't really like this whole thing. Suspiciously. The next day three come!!! the nurse is also attracted to Dawa, my friend, he is always here with me.
- Ready? Let me give you an injection of painkillers just in case
- ok, ready The physiologist gives me both hands, and the others surround me closely. I get up and immediately lose consciousness from the pain. I come to myself in a cold sweat, but I can't come to terms with defeat. I can still do it, I repeat to myself.
- Let's do it again! - I'm falling again. This is repeated several times.
- It's better to continue tomorrow, - says the Physiologist, - it won't be very easy.
Everyone leaves. I stay with my pain and thoughts. I'm roaring like a dying animal. What should I do now? Will I never climb 8000+ again? It's a disaster for me. Why the fuck did I even survive then. This is a complete fuck off! It dawns on me that, as an option, I can remain disabled. I am completely helpless here in this ward, which is now like a prison for me. I cry all day until evening. Dawa is trying to calm down, says Abdurakhman, our officer will come. I am completely indifferent to everything. I don't want to live without 8000, I don't agree so much! In the evening, hysterical, I call the attending physician. He comes right away. - I don't want to be a plant, I don't want to be without 8000, we didn't agree on that! I don't need such a fucking life! - I did everything I could. I sent you a leg. But I can't learn to walk for you. You have to do it yourself. It will be very painful and difficult, maybe it will seem to you that it is not possible, but if you really need it, you can. You're a climber, a fighter! Hold on to the life you love with your teeth! OK, teeth so teeth. I ask to call a physiologist the next morning. All this happens against the background of a twitching pain that does not subside for a minute. After talking to the surgeon, I firmly decided to survive and go to 8000 in a year. Even the simplest, but it will be a symbol of the Will to Live. But all this is just the beginning. So far, I do not suspect that the most difficult and the worst is yet to come. ------------------------------------------------------ So it's time to write the next chapter. About how to put life together in pieces when it seems that everything is lost, and about how to never give up. Nevertheless, I decided to write another chapter of my narrative and from this peaceful atmosphere to convey what happened then, in the distant summer of 2012, when I was in Islamabad with a freshly sewn leg and firmly decided to return to the mountains. -------------------------------------------------------- I often hear people say they don't have a choice. This is usually a blatant lie. When they say that, don't believe it, there is always a choice. There are always many ways out of a certain situation. You always need to stop and think about where you are taking the next step, because with each step these paths will become further apart from each other. You see a disabled person who begs in the transition, and he also once had a choice. You see a man who is crying for everyone's life, it's all bullshit, he also once had a choice. In general, they have this choice now. Only many people do not have the spirit to make a choice that leads to the better, since such a choice always means work and struggle with circumstances. In general, let's go back to Islamabad, in the summer of 2012. In short, after an unsuccessful attempt to get back on my feet, in deep depression, I decided that I would return to the Mountains no matter what. The physiologist comes to me twice a day and we study twice a day. I'm learning to do basic things for a healthy person. The main exercise is to hold the sewn leg in the air, as if you were making a corner. It causes a painful shock and I usually feel sick. I always ask the nurse to do morphine before classes. Of course, it does not completely anesthetize, it just dulls the pain. In general, I don't even know how to sit on a wheelchair, because some nerve was touched. But the surgeons repaired it all and said I could learn everything all over again. As I am now, of course, moving to Russia is out of the question. I can't even be transported by the Stech. But it's not bad here in the hospital, I started to get used to it. The staff is friendly and they all want to help me get back to normal. They perceive every newly mastered movement as our common victory. One day I decided to learn how to comb my hair myself again. This was usually done by a nurse. I dropped the comb several times. Once my hand got tangled in my own hair. This simple, simple task required all my physical and moral strength. But I'm like a robot. Time after time I tried again and again. On the third day of this exercise, I learned how to comb my hair and even pinned up a few hairpins. It turned out to be a cool hairstyle, and it was very pleasing to the eye and I felt very good at heart from the fact that I knew for sure that tomorrow I would be able to do it all myself. Then, in just a few days, I learned how to put on trousers and change into a wheelchair. Now everything was OK in general, since it was possible to hang out in the hospital in this chair. I was a star here. The day of the second operation came. I was horrified by the thought that everything was happening all over again, but there was nothing to be done. The second operation was not long, 3 hours in total. An iron spoke was pulled through my knee and they said that in 10 days the stitches would be removed, and I should learn to walk on crutches. And the metal can be removed after 4 months, when all the spare parts in the knee will grow. But even at this moment, the leg will still not be quite ready. Metal rings, so that it does not fall apart, will have to be worn for another year. According to my plan, to go up to 8000 in a year, I will go up there, then, with an iron leg, which is not in order until the end. But I firmly decided that I would do it in a year. How this will work out is not yet clear, but the decision has been made. After the second operation, I try to keep my balance on crutches. It turns out with great difficulty. There is no question of going to them yet. But in the hospital everything is equipped for the disabled, so life, apparently, does not force a coordinated change in the way of movement, besides, so far it is very painful, even to move in a chair. Attempts to stand on crutches are accompanied by combat shock. But!!! I learned how to comb my hair, brush my teeth, eat by myself and move to a chair and back. Now it seems that these are trifles, but a lot of work was done for this in the summer of 2012. There is also a terrible pain in the knee. I can't exist without painkillers. When I sleep, I put my leg outside so that the blanket does not touch it. Otherwise, such a touch makes you sick with pain. In general, slowly, I'm getting out of the vegetable condition. My plan is to rise in September 2013. I definitely intend to make it. This goal gives me the strength to live and fight. I firmly believe that if you take at least one step towards your goal every day, you will definitely achieve it. In my case, I have to take at least two or three steps towards the goal every day. Meanwhile, the time comes to remove the stitches and the attending surgeon recognizes me as fit for transportation to Russia. Although at that time I never learned to walk on crutches... But nothing, in a few days the native country will teach... Still to come back....What was this return, this is the next shock, and the next chapter of our narrative. I want to say one thing, if such a batch did not break you, then nothing can break you later. --------------------------------------------------------------- In the last chapter, I wrote that there is still a way back. I have a lot to write about. But I will be in order to make it clear to everyone what is going on at all. How does a disabled person with a freshly sewn leg feel? I can say that it really sucks. In general, over the months in Pakistan, I got used to it here, and, of course, I understood that in Russia in this condition at the height of the summer season, no one is waiting for me and even for my family I will be a problem. You can say anything you want, but I always really look at things. But the reality is that the insurance money is running out and at the moment they are only enough for a trip to Russia. I want to say that I am very grateful to Viktor Kozlov, Alexander Kislitsin and Alexey Bukinich for negotiations with the insurance company and a quick solution to all these problems. But in general, it's time for me to get out of Pakistan, let's move on. The conclusion that I made, the amount of insurance coverage of $ 30,000 is very, very small. My carrier was a Qatar Airlines plane, everything was great there. I got to Moscow without any special adventures. Well, it started here! Welcome to Russia High season. Apparently tickets to Sochi are very expensive, and for this reason I'm stuck in Moscow in an aero hotel. I haven't learned how to walk on crutches yet. But I have an escort with me. The representative of the airline explains to me that I will stay in the aero hotel for a day. With me, in addition to the accompanying person, there is still a kilogram of tramadol. Given my condition, no one at customs selects it. I ask the accompanying person to settle with me, since I move only in a wheelchair. "It's not supposed to," they say. They put me in a high-quality room. Everything is fine, only my wheelchair is also being taken away "It's not supposed to," they say. They leave me a couple of crutches. However, what to do with them is not yet clear. The hotel employee disappears along with the wheelchair and the attendant. Then such are the details. I decided not to eat, not to drink, so as not to go to the toilet. I can't walk at all yet, I haven't learned yet. And at the same time, I'm panicking afraid of falling, and that the leg will come off again. But a day is a lot. There is a call on the intercom phone. The girl sounds the menu very appetizing to me.
- I can't eat because I can't walk. If you don't send me someone, I'll shit on your beautiful bed - We don't have such a service, - the girl says calmly, - will you order or not?
- I will, - I voice the order That bitch, I think. I really want to see her in my place... okay, I think we'll see. They bring food . A very fine Russian lunch. I'm tired, to be honest, of their Pakistani kitchen. I eat it quickly. Then there is the problem of how to get to the toilet. You can make a threat come true and shit in bed, but I'm still not an animal, unlike my greeters. Suddenly the leg will come off…I'm terrified. I pray, I read Our Father. I take crutches, get up, try to keep my balance. Two steps, and I'm near the wall, leaning on it as well. I get to the toilet and then back. EU!!! This is my first victory and my first step towards the big mountains. I get back to bed. At the same time, I am happy and experiencing wild tension. In short, I'm crying. At lunch the next day, the flight to Sochi. My leg hurts wildly from moving. I feel almost nothing except twitching pain 24 hours a day. Chatur and Seregey Kazantsev carry me home on a stretcher. Den was delighted and crawls over me stepping on my foot. I hug him to me and sob again. I can't sleep at night, I cry and cry. I understand that even to go outside, I will have to try harder. In general, I spend terrible days at home. My dear girls- Ira Alaeva and Oksana Stefanishina, they often come and do not leave, although I am in this form. Alaeva Pupsik of some miraculous wheels picked up so that the leg would grow faster. In those days we had a whole network of souvenir shops. I want to write about our workers, It's just without comments. My rental neighbor, Aunt Zina, is calling me. We are great friends with their family.
- Oxana, - she says, - pull yourself , go to work. It's a mess here. Your realizer steals in a black way. She brazenly says that nothing will happen to her, since you are finished.
Well, that's too much... okay, I'll go there anyway. The main thing is to learn how to descend from the second floor. I'm calling my driver
- Edik, hi, in short, I have to go to work tomorrow, I can't sit behind the wheel, I crashed badly. In general, tomorrow at eight, drive up, we'll go.
Edik is in shock. He tries to tell me something good, like a strong spirit lives in your crippled body. Honestly, not the cunning words of a decent employee have power. It becomes much easier. I believe that I can walk down the stairs to the car tomorrow. As I was going to, the next morning I had to go with an inspection and all sorts of disassembly to my store, which was located at the 33 Waterfalls excursion facility. In general, it is about 100 km from my house. I need to get there and try to figure out what's going on, but first I just need to get to a car with a driver, which means getting off the 2nd floor on crutches. In the morning I throw a glass and collect the will in a heap. I grab the handrails of the railing with both hands and jump down from step to step on one leg. The pain makes me sick. It's good that it's very early and there's no wild heat outside, otherwise I would have vomited. In general, I won another small fight, I got to the car. We drive in the car for a couple of hours or more. In general, for a simple chat with the driver, the pain seems to subside. We park at Aunt Zina's. Our goods from the store are stored there. Aunt Zina hugs me and cries. I am very glad that I survived, she says. I'm trudging on crutches to the warehouse. The boxes with the goods are just heavy. I take copies of all invoices . I'm counting box after box. My leg is twitching, it just makes me sick. I'm trying to concentrate. No one will do this job for me. In general, about 3 o'clock in the afternoon I finish the revision. The shortage is simply huge. Aunt Zina invites you to lunch. At the time of lunch, Oksana comes, that's the seller's name. She came from somewhere from the Kuban to work. Actually, we have a working day until 9 pm, but this beauty is already here for some reason. This rat obviously doesn't expect to see me here. She's obviously tetanus
- Oxana, you???
- Here you are a bitch! Did you think I was finished and you could steal, you're a finished rat! What the fuck are you doing here at three o'clock in the afternoon? Do you even know that you have 50 thousand shortfall?- I'm moving on crutches right to her and I want to crack this insolent face with a crutch. A silent scene. Everyone is silent
- I ... in short, I have a new laptop, so take it and there are 10 thousand. All together 40 thousand. - this is what she tells me - Okay, as a gift from a disabled person to the most greedy rat in the world, 10 thousand, you don't work here anymore! Get out so I don't see you here anymore. Oksana quickly disappears
- Ksyusha, pull yourself together, go to work. Do you know what people are like now…Knowing what position you are in, anyone will steal..- Aunt Zina says In general, that's what we decided.
From the next day you will have to go to work. Moreover, the insurance money has run out, and there is another operation to be performed and you have to pay for it. I am not one of those people who, like homeless people, will beg for money with an outstretched hand. In general, I will have to unravel this whole situation myself. Although mourners are much more popular in society who will whine, beg for money and yell about their misfortune to the whole world, I consider this unacceptable for myself. And the people who cry, I personally have neither pity nor respect. If I do something like this, I will lose the most important and priceless thing, which is self-respect. I'm getting home. Because of all this, I'm just broken. At night I can't hide completely, because my leg twitches because of any touch. To work in the morning. I get to the car elementary by jumping up the stairs. The work is going great! Many people who see that I work on crutches buy even out of respect for my work and for the fact that I do not give up. It helps a lot morally and financially. But because of all these movements, the leg hurts a lot. Day after day I get involved in work, but all these days turn into an endless pain shock. So three weeks fly by. Now I need to think about the next operation and where and how to do it within the framework of Russian reality. We still need to be rehabilitated somehow. This, of course, can turn into a round sum. I really hope that it will help, at least at least Karelin's hometown Club will allocate space. At least at that time, I still considered him my own. What surprises and lessons life will bring me next, read in the next chapter Our friend recommends his friend to me for the final operation, he was even the head of traumatology at our city hospital at that time. - I really need to learn how to walk, I need to go to the Mountain. Please do the operation carefully, I will pay, - I ask this surgeon at a personal meeting - What mountain do you like? You're disabled now. You will be very lucky if you learn to climb to your floor without crutches. ….It's a curtain! Who, I wonder, gives diplomas to armless and soulless freaks? .. I immediately decide to find a surgeon on the Internet who will undertake to bring me back into service. And at the same time, he will also sign the contract. I call a lot of clinics, send a description of the MRI. Nobody inspires me. These days I no longer work, but I am mentally preparing for the operation. And so, after a few days of active search, I see an ad in the center of Sochi: PLASTIC SURGERY CENTER. OK, I'm calling there right away. I say that complex ligament plasty is needed. - Come, we have a specialist you are interested in, - says the girl on the reception. The surgeon's name is ALEXANDER VLADIMIROVICH BAYUR. I am still grateful to this person. The point is not how much the operation cost, but that after it I went up to my remaining 8x 8000+. In general, at that moment, I come to the reception. The doctor immediately fascinates me with his professionalism and confidence. I decide without fear to entrust my life to him for the period of surgery and rehabilitation. The operation is successful. Painstakingly and slowly I am learning everything anew. I'm not going to work right now, but I'm trying to fully concentrate on recovery. Implementers do not steal. They know that it is possible to snatch in full, and I am already much stronger and can exercise strict control. I really want to return to my native, as I thought then, Karelin's club. Before the accident, they were my sponsors, and of course I didn't pay for anything there. But then an unexpected ops occurs..Our manager calmly says that they are no longer my sponsors and a disabled person like me is not interesting to anyone… Now the training will pour out to me in a round sum… Nevertheless, I firmly decide not to fill the pocket of my former hometown club, but instead I buy a simulator for myself at home. I'm slowly starting to train. In three months I reach the volume of 20 hours a week at a pulse of 160. From that moment on, I decided to organize a company that will be engaged in climbing. My first serious 8000+ was Makalu 8463 in 2011, even before the accident on K2. Therefore, I decide to give the name of my company to Makalu Extreme Climbing Adventure In the autumn, in September 2013, exactly a year later, as I planned, I am assembling an expedition to Manaslu 8163. And on October 2, accompanied by guides, I stand at its Summit. Although the leg is still with metal rings. But they, these rings, couldn't stop me. From this moment on, I can say: I survived the accident on K2