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Vacation accident leaves Great Falls man in critical condition

Posted: 6:07 PM, Apr 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-25 20:07:33-04

GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls man vacationing in Cabo, Mexico was involved in what the family is calling a traumatic freak accident.

“It’s horrible. Absolutely horrible.”

On Easter Sunday, Craig Bimler, his wife Kelly, and three kids were at the beach.

“He just ran from the beach and dove in,” family friend Lisa Larson said.

Larson said they believe that when Bimler dove into the ocean, he hit a sandbank and broke his neck instantly.

“It’s all a blur to Kelly,” Larson said.

A doctor on the beach performed CPR until emergency crews arrived and transported him to a hospital in Mexico.

He was then flown to a hospital in San Diego where he is being treated for a number of injuries and remains in critical condition.

“The ventilator is breathing for him,” Larson said.

Bimler’s injuries include: fractures in his neck, bleeding and swelling in his spine, and a blood clot in his lung. He will have surgery on his spine Saturday.

“The risk was that the steroids would make his vitals change, but they are staying stable so surgery is Saturday. After that, they will attempt breathing. It’s all up in the air,” Larson said.

Wednesday, Craig had an IVC filter put in because of the blood clot in his lung. He cannot be on blood thinners because of the bleeding in his spine.

A Facebook page has been set up for people looking to stay up-to-date with Bimler’s recovery.

“The family appreciates all the love and support from everyone,” Larson said. It’s very nice of everybody to be worried about him and carrying about him.”

Larson said Kelly Bimler has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support.

“She’s gotten a lot of texts, calls, and messages. I think it’s been a huge eye opener to her that a lot of people care about us. It’s been a huge blessing,” Larson said.