When the world stops and time has no significance anymore you are either in a deep state of meditation, dreaming or in shock. Unfortunately neither of the first two were the reasons that everything from one moment to the other turned and tumbled for us. It was a big shock when the news of Fabi’s accident in the Himalayan mountains reached us. Only slowly step by step it gave room to hope and pure astonishment about the mental toughness, mindset and optimism that Fabi applies going through his healing process.
„Mr. Lentsch why are you still lying in bed?! You should be walking outside, enjoying the sun!!!“ It was meant to be a joke of the Indian doctor with the intention to motivate Fabi. The doctor must have known that his advise to walk outside was impossible for Fabi in this moment. Still, from the very beginning, he should believe in his recovery. It was only two days after a luckily successful surgery on Fabi’s severely damaged vertebra and spinal cord, trying to save Fabi’s spine and in the end his ability to walk.
Fabi’s situation in his Indian hospital bed unfortunately was way worse than the words of a smiling, at the same time very serious doctor would make you guess. Fabi had crashed with his paraglider, on a routine flight while hiking in the Himalayas. Something had gone wrong, he still doesn’t exactly know what and the crash broke two of his vertebrae, his left arm and foot and injured his spinal cord, which left him without movement or feeling in his feet and toes. On the 24th of July 2022 Fabi’s life has changed dramatically.
45 days in India
The crash had happened on the 45th day of his stay in India. He was on a mission to get to know the mountains there. He attended a yoga school and was planning skiing missions for an Indian film trip. Scouting big mountain lines in far out places, that was exactly what Snowmads mastermind Fabi had done for so many times, leaving others with jaws wide open of disbelief while doing it. Same goes for when he took off with his paraglider on that 24th of July 2022. But this time something went horribly wrong…
Moments later he had fallen out of the sky, a fall from around 40 meters to rocky ground.
Three surgeries later
It’s now more then two months after his first surgery on his spine in India, where the severely damaged vertebra was removed and stabilized by metal and a so called „cage“ put around his spinal cord to somehow replace the missing vertebra.
Fabi recently joked that after his third surgery in some weeks, already back in Austria, he had somehow managed to get 3 implant passports within only some weeks… he had none before.
The Damocles sword of being bound to the wheelchair for a long time, maybe for life, is hanging in some thoughts somewhere… sometimes. Doctors say serious medical predictions and an outlook can only be given after around a year has passed. Until then rehab, relearning to walk and making his way out of hospitals will be Fabi’s mission. Fortunately there has already been faster than expected progress and some of his body sensations and physical abilities are coming back. It seems and is possible! The doctors believe in it and so… maybe most importantly… does Fabi himself.
Fabi is an unbelievable optimist, always was, probably always will be. People love him for that. For many of the things he did in his life you need to be an optimist, otherwise you would not dare to even try those things and we’re not specifically talking about skiing. So he knows how it feels to go on adventures with uncertain outcomes. This might be the most difficult and maybe his biggest mission so far.
Mara, Fabi’s friend, travel companion and rescue angel, at the same time medical doctor, was with Fabi when the crash happened. She told us a story of Fabi still lying in the Indian hospital bed, already in very good care after the first days and a difficult, difficult rescue from the mountains. It was monks who were the first carrying him down the mountain on a wooden improvised bed in what Fabi described as unbelievable pain to a special helicopter, ironically installed from an Austrian mountain rescue organization, who then flew him over 5.000m peaks to the hospital.
So, Fabi was lying in this Indian hospital bed, his body severely damaged, in a shape that he described by far the worst in his life, just days after the crash and the first surgery, and believe it or not, there were other patients, who were considered to have lost hope in their situation, sent to him with the words „Go to this guy, he can make you have hope again“. Also patients in way better physical conditions than Fabi.
We put some video footage from India, Fabi’s first steps in rehab and him reuniting with us Snowmads in Austria in the Instagram post below.
Undoubtably it’s difficult times for all of us. The first shock of almost losing a loved one, having him injured severely has passed. The long term consequences though are still unknown.
In any way we want to believe that probably everything happens for a reason and emotional and physical injuries will heal with time. And most importantly, life goes on! Thats probably what we’re most happy about… that Fabi is still here and will hopefully experience many more sunsets and sunrises on this beautiful earth.
Still many people are shocked about the news of Fabi’s crash and situation, offering help.
THANK YOU ALL
Thank you all for the words and thoughts, and while for many friends and family it was like a nightmare coming to life, be assured that Fabi is in very good medical hands and accompanied on his way back by some amazing people.
The best you can do for now is to send all the good thoughts and healing vibes to Fabi.
We are reunited now and are making sure to support Fabi and each other going through this. We’ll take care that he has everything he needs to heal and recover and hopefully we make all our dreams come true together … again …
Our biiiig thank you goes out to everybody supporting our mastermind Fabi through all of this.
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Read here what Fabi says in his own words on his Instagram @fabian_lentsch