My name is Jamie Rose Erickson and although you do not know me, I am writing to request something very important of you. My brother, Jimmy Erickson, was recently in a horrific surfing accident in Huntington Beach, CA. On Sunday, November 19, Jimmy was riding his last wave (which unfortunately was crappy to begin with), attempting to complete a 180. Jimmy tried to stop his short-board but instead the wave forced the board to come up behind his left side and struck his face. I am unable to truly describe the damage that has been done, but I will try (Please be warned the following description may be graphic).
I will begin with the injuries that in perspective are not as complicated as the rest. Jimmy has a broken thumb on his right hand from trying to push the board from his face, which continued to smash into his left eye and nose. Jimmy’s nose is fractured in 3 places and they are still unable to fix it due to the extensive damage done to his eye-lid and tear-ducts. Jimmy’s left eye-lid was basically hanging on by a thread once the paramedics got to the beach. When they arrived, they were unsure whether his eyeball was even intact because of the large amount of blood. The lower tear-duct was also terribly torn. As of now, Jimmy has lost the muscle function in his eye and is unable to blink. He has a tube in his lower tear duct that is being used as a stint between his nose and his eye. Because of this and the fact that his nose is broken, Jimmy cannot breathe out of one side of his nose. He was in surgery on Sunday night for 6 hours with an ocular-plastic surgeon, luckily the best in Orange County, because the damage was so extensive. The nose of the surfboard, which he had received the day before as an early birthday present from our parents, shattered in his eye when they collided. The doctors removed 80 pieces of fiberglass from his eye socket, one of which was an inch and a half long. We had the best surgeon repairing my brother’s eye lid and when he came out, even he said, that he “hopes they attached the muscle because the damage and swelling and blood was so bad that they could not be certain that his muscle was reattached or even still hanging on. Luckily, Jimmy had closed his eyelid when the board hit him, because Jimmy’s actual eyeball seems to be untouched. The best-case scenario for him is that eventually, within the next 6 months, if the muscle was reattached, it will learn to move on its own. No one knows for sure and only time will tell. The worst case is that after the next 6 months, if he is still unable to open his eyelid. He will need extensive surgery, which could consist of possibly a muscle transplant, or a surgery that would somehow connect his eyelid to his eyebrow so that he could utilize his eyebrow muscle. If either of these surgeries does occur, his eyelid will obviously be permanently damaged. Jimmy is even unable to physically move around because the pressure on the front of his face is too hard for him to take. And the pain is unbearable. He is unable to actually keep focus on anything with his right eye for more then 10 minutes, and he is obviously unable to read, look at magazines and even play cards because it his too hard for his eyes to handle. We are unsure of when he will be returning to school, he needs major “physical-therapy on his eye and he is unable to do any sort of physical activity for months.
Jimmy is your typical 18 year old boy: a freshman at Loyola Marymount University, a die-hard surfer, snowboarder, skater and an all around dare-devil; he loves hanging out with his friends, family and girlfriend; and I can honestly say, that every person that knows him has only great things to say about him. He is one of the most generous people I know, not to mention one of the wittiest and most hilarious people I know. I wish I could paint a better picture for you of who my brother really is and how much he means to me and everyone who knows him. He iis Jimmy, there is no one else like him and to me, I could never ask for a better brother and friend. He is all smiles and when he gets knocked down, he immediately gets right back up again. Because of this, I know that Jimmy’s spirits are down. He has a long, a very long road ahead of him, and he truly is unable to “get right back up again anytime soon, because this is a process. We are unsure of when he will be returning to school, he needs major “physical-therapy on his eye and he is unable to do any sort of physical activity for months.
Jimmy’s birthday is this coming Friday, November 24. He will be 19. He was scheduled to sky-dive for the first time, and obviously he is unable to do so. Jimmy’s first words, after being in surgery for 6 hours, were “Mom, tell me the truth. Will I ever be able to get back in the water again? I know that this birthday is going to be extremely difficult for him. He is embarrassed, frustrated and in a lot of pain. I want to do anything I can for him right now to lift his spirits, but there is nothing that I personally can do. This is why I am turning to you, whether you are an organization, a publication or a single person, I am simply asking for words of encouragement from people who truly understand his love for “Mother Ocean and surfing. Any amount of words would mean the world to him. I don’t want him to have tears of pain anymore, I want him to have tears of joy and hope, which I know these letters would do. I also encourage you to forward this letter to as many people as you can. Who knows what we can accomplish? Hopefully, it is a huge smile on Jimmy’s face. Please send any correspondence to me. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or please feel free to send them to:
Jamie Rose Erickson
8961 Laramie Drive
Alta Loma, CA 91737
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to read this and to consider doing something to brighten my brother’s day and lift his spirits. My family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Jamie Rose Erickson