Most fans who follow the Kilcher family know by now that Atz Lee suffered severe injuries from a fall that almost killed him. According to a Homer News article, on August 10, Atz Lee Kilcher walked right off a cliff while hiking with a friend in an area called Otter Cove in Kachemak Bay. Atz Lee’s injuries were so severe he had to be medevaced out by helicopter. Kilcher’s friend also fell but sustained minor injuries. Previews for this week’s upcoming episode, aptly titled “The Fall,” seem to show the actual fall, although it could be a recreation. The clip also shows Atz Lee in the hospital after surgery, with his worried and tearful wife, Jane, at his side.
Since then, Atz Lee and Jane have graciously updated fans on how he is doing since suffering several broken bones and two punctured lungs. So far on the show, segments with Atz Lee show him working hard on his new cabin, which was obviously filmed before the accident. Atz Lee wants everything to be appealing to Jane, who is not sure she wants to live so far off the grid and away from the family. During the last episode, Kilcher was working with a friend to fix the muddy trail they must use in order to reach the cabin. Atz Lee seems to have gotten quite a bit done before he was forced to stop. As Atz Lee Kilcher continues to recover from four surgeries and 25 broken bones, he will eventually be able to pick up where he left off. Atz Lee posted to his Instagram account on December 2 about how he’s doing at this time.
“Still hard to acknowledge how bad off I was. Broken ankle, hip, shoulder blade, arm, two punctured lungs and over a dozen broken ribs. My recovery is going slow but steady to me but the DRs say I’m recovering fast all considering. Working hard with my physical therapist and looking forward to running and jumping from trees and mountain tops again someday. Thanks to my family for being by my side and thanks so much to all the people that have been keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. Patience is my friend.”
The photos Atz Lee Kilcher posted of his injuries are shocking. There seem to be screws and rods holding broken bones together everywhere in his body. At one time, Atz Lee posted to Instagram how difficult it was to really get any rest, and it’s easy to see why. More recently, Atz Lee posted that he has been able to get out and about a bit.
“Thankful to be able to get on a four wheeler and go to the beach. There’s something about a big storm that makes me feel alive, and I’m quite happy to be alive.”
Fortunately for Atz Lee and Jane, they have a large support system nearby. A close-knit family, whenever someone in the Kilcher clan needs a helping hand, they all seem more than willing to do whatever is needed. Winters are hard in Alaska, and it takes the entire family all summer just to prepare. With Atz Lee down, Jane has certainly had a lot more on her plate this fall and winter. The family is probably helping her by picking up the slack and sharing whatever they have. As Atz Lee gets stronger, he will be able to get back to hunting and fishing, and most likely, he will be called on to return the favor by helping a family member. As any Kilcher will tell you, however, that is what family does.
Are you a fan of the show? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. Alaska: The Last Frontier airs on Sunday’s at 9 p.m. ET on the Discovery channel.
[Image via Atz Lee Kilcher’s Twitter, resized and cropped]