Resiliency During Tragedy

Photo by Kimberly Peck
Photo by Kimberly Peck

Early on Friday afternoon our small town withstood two tragedies. Our neighbors at Far HIlls Farm lost their barn and store to a fire and our own Chris had a tragic accident in our woods. Our hearts go out to our neighbors and we continue to pray for Chris's recovery.


That day, Chris went into the woods to check on what he assumed to be a fire or snowmobile accident on our trail. He was riding the tractor and came across some trees across the trail. He was in the process of moving them and was hit in the face by a branch that sprung back with such force that it fractured most of the bones in his face, shattered his nose and left him with a large open wound on his forehead. Chris's vision went black for what he remembers to be about 4-5 minutes at which time he walked aimlessly toward what he thought to be home. When his vision returned, he realized that not only had he walked away from home but that could not walk himself the half-mile back to the farm in this condition. Miraculously, he followed his tracks home and was immediately met in our driveway by our brother-in-law Tim and 911 was called.


Becasue of the fire on County Road, most of our Walpole emergency vehicles were on the scene of that tradgedy so we did have to wait for assistance. Upon arrival of the EMT workers, it was decided that helicopter transport was necessary. The helicopter from UMASS Medical Center in Worcester landed at Alyson's orchard after our town trucks plowed them a landing pad.


The rest is history but you can imagine how scary it was for Chris and all of us! From here on out he remains in stable condition but will require an extensive 12+ hour surgery to reconstruct his face and repair his sinuses. We are amazed at the outporing of positive energy, financial help, food, farm help and childcare offers that we have received over the past few days.

Chris is resilient and I can already tell that even after this traumatic brush with death, he will come out of this stronger, more self-confident, wiser and more powerful. Everyone around us has shown their resiliency which is so important for Chris to see as well as our children to witness. If anything positive can come out of this trauma I can only hope that he experiences "posttraumatic growth" and continues his positive outlook on life which is why so many people are infectiously drawn to him. I think resiliency is what is most important right now so I am counting on myself and my family and friends to show their resiliency as well. It's going to be a long road to recovery but it can be a positive one!


Thank you all for your support and continued positive thoughts and prayers. Chris is in amazing spirits considering. :-)



Write a comment

Comments: 15
  • #1

    Elizabeth Harlow (Wednesday, 08 January 2014 22:46)

    We are thinking of you all with love and support. I appreciate your intentional resilience and lift you all up in confidence for growth and peace.

  • #2

    Anji Church (Thursday, 09 January 2014 05:37)

    Love to you Cait...all of you are in my heart thoughts DAILY!

  • #3

    Sandy Miller (Thursday, 09 January 2014 05:56)

    We are thinking of you all with love, support and prayers...

  • #4

    Bill & Pam Rohdenburg (Thursday, 09 January 2014 09:10)

    When Pam and I were looking for a place to move to, 6 years ago, one of our biggest concerns was finding a place with a true sense of community. We were thrilled when we settled in Walpole. The support that people have shown you guys just goes to show what a wonderful place this is. I know that support and energy will help you all get through this.
    Thinking of you guys and sending all our good energy your way.

  • #5

    Emily Aldrich Clark (Thursday, 09 January 2014 10:12)

    Hi Caitlin, We've never met but our dads are old friends. I was so sorry to hear about Chris's accident. I am sending you (and him) positive vibes and best wishes for a speedy recovery. I LOVE and applaud your positive outlook on the tragic event. My husband has recently had a health scare and it has been amazing how quickly it has changed our perspective and attitude toward life and living! These things can be positive! Best of luck to you, Chris and your kids! Emily

  • #6

    Shelley Richardson (Thursday, 09 January 2014 14:42)

    Caitlin, Chris, Sam and Henry, you are all in our thoughts and prayers and I hope that Chris will be sipping beers again very soon.
    Love Shelley and Dave

  • #7

    Cathy and Jeff White (Thursday, 09 January 2014 15:03)

    How brave and resilient of YOU, Caitlin to take the time and make the effort to put this out there. Please remember to also take the time to take care of yourself. You are blessed to have the support network that you have; and that will see you, Chris, the boys and your extended family through this. Our thoughts and hopes are with you as Chris undergoes his surgery tomorrow.

  • #8

    Tom & Betzy (Thursday, 09 January 2014 16:04)

    Chris and family,
    Betzy and I are very sad to hear what has happen.
    Our thoughts and prays go out to you and family.
    If there is anything we can do to help Please do not wait to ask.

  • #9

    Kelli & Damian Wilson (Friday, 10 January 2014 07:33)

    Thinking of you and your family, Caitlin, and hoping for the best possible recovery for Chris.

  • #10

    Caitlin (Friday, 10 January 2014 13:52)

    Thank you all for your lovely comments and your positive outlook. All of you have kept Chris and I going, we appreciate you so much!! <3 Caitlin

  • #11

    Lisa and Grant Boyer (Wednesday, 15 January 2014 02:37)

    I don't know if remember me but I am a longtime associate of Bonnie and Charlie and spent some great ideas times with Chris when he was in the investment business. We are praying for Chris and all of you. My husband is a farmer too and he said he knows how that could happen. Please share our thoughts with Bonnie and Charlie too. Miss them The boys are adorable. LISA

  • #12

    Leslie Farrington (Wednesday, 15 January 2014 07:47)

    I'm so sorry to hear about Chris's incident. Such a violent reminder that doing seemingly routine and simple things outside can be fraught with danger. Sending you positive thoughts and engergies for a quick recovery. Looking forward to seeing you both next time we come to Walpole!

  • #13

    Suzy and Joe Nickerson (Wednesday, 15 January 2014 08:28)

    Caitlin - thank you for keeping us all posted. We wish you all a perfect recovery. Loving thoughts to you, Chris and your sweet boys.

  • #14

    Kim Lewis (Sunday, 19 January 2014 09:08)

    I'm so sorry to hear of Chris' terrible accident. My cousin was in a bad waterskiing accident requiring total face reconstruction and, though it was a difficult road, he is healthy, handsome, and very busy as a landscaper. Keep the faith. We are all praying for Chris and your family.

  • #15

    Jim Poplin (Monday, 20 January 2014 08:39)


    I want you to know your friends at Peterborough United Methodist Church are and have been praying for your recovery. We all wish you the best and hope you return to normal activity level as soon as possible. I know my Mary is watching you from heaven and praying for you as well. Take heart that those whose lives you've made better by following your dream are all pulling for you. God bless.