September 18, 2009 in City

Woman impaled by tree limb

Thirteen-inch branch removed during surgery
Associated Press
 

On the Web: View a photo at spokesman.com/tags /michelle-childers/photos/.

KAMIAH, Idaho – A northern Idaho woman who was skewered in the neck by a tree limb during a recreational drive along the Lochsa River earlier this month said she is recovering at home.

Michelle Childers, 20, and her husband were driving down a rural road in north-central Idaho on Sept. 5 when a spruce tree crashed through the passenger side window of their pickup truck.

Childers, a Kamiah, Idaho, native, said she could feel a strange pressure on her neck and shoulder when her husband, Daniel, a 22-year-old who works in the timber industry, saw the tree limb had impaled her and started to panic.

“I asked him ‘What? Where is it?,’ ” Childers said.

Her husband answered, “It’s in your neck,” she said.

The couple drove to the Lochsa Lodge near the Idaho-Montana border to call for help and arrived about an hour after the tree limb stabbed the woman.

She was flown by helicopter to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula.

“So, here I am sitting in a pickup with all these wonderful people around me and a 13-inch spruce limb with branches coming off it in still in my neck,” Childers told KHQ-TV.

The 13-inch tree limb was removed from her neck during a six-hour surgery, said Childers, who was interviewed at her home and wore a large piece of gauze on the scar on the side of her neck.

Childers does not have insurance. Friends have set up an account for the couple at a local Sterling Savings bank location to help pay for her medical expenses.

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