BANGOR, Maine — Despite serious concerns about the severity of his injuries, the Carmel man who was the focus of an intense woods rescue Tuesday reportedly was faring well Wednesday at Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Roger Donnell, 61, of Carmel was injured after a tree fell on him while he was cutting firewood in a woodlot more than half a mile from the end of Swett Road.
Despite his predicament, he managed to crawl about 50 feet to his cell phone and call a friend who was in the woods with him. The friend, in turn, called 911 for help.
Because the location was too difficult to get to by ambulance and because emergency personnel were worried that he might have suffered a crushed chest or broken back, his rescuers got him out of the woods and to the hospital with the help of a four-wheel drive pickup truck and a LifeFlight helicopter.
On Wednesday, Carmel Fire Chief Mike Azevedo, who coordinated Tuesday’s rescue effort, said he had the opportunity to check up on Donnell and learned that the man was in good shape.
“I spoke with him today,” Azevedo said. “He’s very lucky and he knows it. He said he was ecstatic about all the people who came out to help him.”
Donnell, he said, told him that he had no broken bones and no internal injuries, just some nasty bruises on the back of his head and his back.
The man told Azevedo that he didn’t remember much about the accident, his slow pickup ride over a rutted unpaved road or his helicopter ride to Bangor, though he did learn later about the lengths that firefighters and emergency medical personnel went to to get him to the hospital, Azevedo said.
Azevedo said that might be because Donnell was given a painkiller while he was still in the woods.
“We were concerned about his back being broken” and didn’t want Donnell to be in pain during his trip to Bangor.
Attempts to reach Donnell at EMMC Wednesday evening were unsuccessful.