Facing a Father’s Worst Fear

Rescue Profile: Kiri and Dad

Case #: 8393



Not every girl can claim to be daddy's tough biker. But every girl is not Kirsten, affectionately known as Kiri. Her father, John, takes pride in referring to her as one of the toughest bikers he has ever seen.


This daughter/father duo enjoys the outdoors as much as they enjoy each other's company. This past Labor Day, they were doing just that when the day took an unexpected turn for the worse. In the mountain trails of Ashland, Oregon, Kiri took a jump on her bike that resulted in her body being thrown against the rocky terrain.


John remembered the fright that filled him as he approached the scene and saw his daughter helplessly lying on the ground. When his tough "little girl" somehow managed to get out the words, "Dad, I'm hurt," John knew it was serious.

Springing into action, John pressed the SOS button on his SPOT, which alerted the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center. The IERCC received the SOS alert from the SPOT device and reached out to local first responders. Within two hours, the rescue team had reached their location. Kiri was carefully placed into an emergency vehicle and soon, everyone was on their way to the nearest hospital.


Although grateful he was able to use SPOT to get emergency personnel to his daughter's location, John remained concerned as he waited for the doctor's prognosis.


Uncertain about the effect this injury would have on his daughter's future, John recalled the four hours spent waiting as "the longest four hours of my life." What if Kiri couldn't ride again? What if she couldn't walk again?


Fortunately for Kiri, there was no neurological damage, leaving her father initially encouraged. However, she still suffered severe pain from torn ligaments in her lower back, making it difficult for her spine to support itself. She was given spinal support to help stabilize the spine and to allow the ligaments to repair. The experience was painful and scary, but thankfully not as tragic as it could have been.


Three months later, Kiri is progressing nicely. Although she has yet to return to biking, she can do normal daily activities and anticipates returning to biking soon.


Her father hopes that when she returns to biking, she does so with more caution; he is reassured knowing she will have SPOT at her side. "It was very comforting to have SPOT. I always bike with it. As for cell phone coverage, it's fine if and when you have it. I choose to rely on SPOT."


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