November 18, 2018
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Injured Acadia climber transferred to Boston for fourth surgery

Courtesy of Michael Coyne
Courtesy of Michael Coyne
Rescuers prepare to carry Serenity Coyne of Boston after she was injured by a falling rock while climbing Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail in Acadia National Park on Labor Day.

The professional adventure sportswoman struck by a boulder in Acadia National Park on Labor Day was recovering in Boston on Monday after 14 hours of surgery on her badly damaged left leg.

Surgeons at Eastern Maine Medical Center of Bangor inserted a titanium rod into the leg of Serenity Coyne, 53, of Boston on Wednesday and a pin in her ankle on Friday, according to her husband, Michael Coyne. She was due for surgery Monday at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, he said.

Monday’s operation is Serenity Coyne’s fourth since the Coynes were on Acadia’s Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail, descending and standing on a ledge between trail ladders one-third of a mile from the trailhead when the 400- to 500-pound rock smashed her leg, Michael Coyne and rescuers have said.

Her spirits are good, Michael Coyne said.

“Serenity wants to a send message out that nature has many faces and that if you go into the mountains, you need to be prepared,” Michael Coyne said Monday. “We don’t want this to frighten people off from Acadia. We want them to be strong and prepare for any eventuality. We want to send a message out that it is worth it.”

Speaking by phone as he waited for his wife to go back under the knife,

Michael Coyne sounded exhausted — deeply stressed but well-composed and focused.

“That rock also hit me. I am getting flashbacks. I am reliving that moment over and over and over,” Michael Coyne said. “Ironically I am strongest when I am with her, but when I am alone, it becomes difficult for me.”

The boulder fall is their worst accident since the Coynes began doing climbs and hikes to raise money for various causes in 1995, Michael Coyne said.

Their charity, Expedition Outreach, pursues extreme sport adventures, races and expeditions to raise awareness and funding for worthwhile causes as world peace, inner personal peace, post traumatic stress recovery and for survivors of cardiac events who live with heart disease.

The Coynes have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the Bolivian Andes, the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Devil’s Tower in Wyoming and Mount Gros Morne of Newfoundland. They were in training for an upcoming event when the accident occurred, Michael Coyne said.

Michael Coyne has faced his own life-threatening situations over the years. He earned a Guinness Book World Record in Bolivia for the highest altitude Luge descent, is a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran and was almost beaten to death by an assailant while he was a Massachusetts state trooper.

Both Reiki masters, the Coynes have battled their most recent travail by practicing the Eastern meditation with faith healers. They were also visited by an acupuncturist on Thursday, Coyne said.

Coyne recommended that hikers and climbers get basic first responder training before heading into the backcountry.

“It can make all the difference in a situation like this,” he said. “Two minutes can change your whole life.”

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