Establish care: 218.249.4000
General questions: 218.249.5555

Mathew’s Story

Mathew Dincau
Snowmobile Crash Survivor

February 3, 2017

I’ve been snowmobiling my entire life. Even though my friends had been hurt before, I never imagined I’d get in an accident. Until I did.

My dad, brothers and I were snowmobiling up near our cabin at Crane Lake. We had already gone about 250 miles when I missed a corner and ended up hitting a tree. I was only 6 miles from the cabin at that point. My leg twisted and broke in a few places, and I knew I had hurt my wrist.

Because we were in such a remote area, it took about 40 minutes before my dad found me, and then another hour and a half for an ambulance to arrive and bring me to a place where a helicopter could land. When the helicopter crew asked for my hospital preference, I chose St. Luke's.

Once in the helicopter, the two flight nurses helped me calm down. They also helped me manage the pain, which had gotten pretty bad by this point.

I’m a deputy sheriff for St. Louis County, so I knew a few of the first responders, which helped. And even though I didn’t know anyone once I got to St. Luke’s, they all made me feel at home and at ease.

Right away when I arrived, they took x-rays and did a CT scan. The doctor told me that my leg was broken and that it would need surgery. I knew right after the crash that my leg was hurt pretty bad; the pain was that awful. It took about 7 hours in surgery just to mend my leg.

I stayed in the hospital for six days after the accident. Physical therapists visited two or three times a day to help me practice walking. By the third day, I was up using a walker to go back and forth down the hallway.

The doctors checked on me everyday. They were definitely concerned about me, and wanted me to get better as soon as possible. I had some awesome nurses who did everything they could to help. Every time I rang the bell for help, it seemed like someone was already there.

When it comes to trauma, you have a choice. Choose St. Luke’s.

218.249.5555 | 800.321.3790

St. Luke’s, 915 East First Street, Duluth, MN 55805
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Establish care: 218.249.4000
General questions: 218.249.5555

915 East First Street
Duluth, MN 55805