Skydiver Plunges into Water, Saved by Cutting-Edge Surgery

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A veteran sky diver is recovering from injuries after jumping from a helicopter above the Lake of the Pines at a Fourth of July celebration.

The Sacramento Bee reports 36-year-old Iwan van der Schoor, who has made nearly 4,000 parachute jumps, found that he had been falling too fast when he made the 6,000-foot jump Saturday.

When Van der Schoor hit the water, he suffered a severe blunt injury to his aorta, the large artery that serves as the conduit to the body and critical organs, and broken ribs. He was rushed to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

The UC Davis surgeons were able to repair his aorta using modern cardiac catheterization. Until about 15 years ago, performing open-heart surgery was the one major option for saving people with aortic injuries.