OR: Recovery from freak hunting accident leads family to be very thankful
Recovery from freak hunting accident leads family to be very thankful
By SANDRA SWAIN
The Daily Astorian
Thursday, November 27, 2008
As the many members of Astoria's Hauer family gather around their
Thanksgiving tables today, they will be especially thankful that Karl
Hauer will be celebrating, too. A little over a year ago, Karl
miraculously survived a freak accident while deer hunting with his
brother Dan and two other men in the woods off Oregon Highway 202, near
Karl, who lives in Hillsboro with his wife, Heidi, and their four
young sons, was raised in Astoria. He visited often, spending time with
his parents, Diane and Ed Hauer Jr., his brother Dan's young family and
numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
But on Oct. 6, 2007, Karl set the butt of his rifle beside a fallen
tree, resting the muzzle against his truck while he arranged some gear.
The hammer was locked down, but when he grabbed the gun it caught on a
branch and a bullet blasted up through his chest and lower jaw. Luckily
it missed his heart and his upper jaw as it exited, and just grazed his
left brow bone.
But it left a gaping wound on the left side of his chest and did
serious damage to the left side of his face.
It was touch and go for awhile as Dan and the other two hunters
rushed Karl out of the woods. With help from many others along the way,
including a sheriff's deputy, ham radio operators and volunteer
firefighters, they made it to Columbia Memorial Hospital. From there,
Karl was taken by ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland,
where he spent almost two weeks.
It's been a long road for Karl, says his father, Ed Hauer, but he's
90 percent recovered. The accident happened just three days after Karl
had started work at a new company. Ed says the owners were very
understanding and waited six months for him to be able to return to
work. He spent the time completing his education at Portland State
University and has earned his landscape contracting license.
Ed and Diane will spend Thanksgiving with Dan and his wife Sarah and
their three boys, who live just around the corner. Although Karl and
Heidi are staying in Hillsboro for the holiday, they will definitely be
on everyone's mind as the Hauers gather to give thanks for their
"This year has been a very humbling year - for our own family, for
the economy. A lot of things have happened that bring home the
importance of families and neighbors and people who have had tragedies,"
Ed Hauer says. "It makes us aware we're not alone when bad things