This yuletide season may not so merry for the Kilcher family. In fact, these residents of Homer, AK, and stars of Discovery’s Alaska: The Last Frontier may have to spend the holidays in the hospital: Shane Kilcher has broken his back.
What happened? Well, the 46-year-old son of Lenedra Jewel and Atz Carroll — and brother of Grammy-nominated singer Jewel — was working on his house when the accident happened. According to a video Discovery posted to Facebook two weeks ago, Shane fell off a ladder and landed on his back, breaking his L2 vertebra in a horizontal fracture extending two-thirds of the way through the bone.
“We’re in the hospital in Homer, and Shane fell off a ladder and broke his back,” wife Kelli says in the video. “Big, strong Shane. He’s the big, strong one. He’s supposed to do everything.”
As Kelli explains, this injury puts their best-laid plans into limbo. “How bad is it?” she wonders. “How bad is it going to be in the long run? And what’s that going to mean? … He’s not moving, and if he’s not going to be able to get around, then… He’s supposed to take care of things. He’s doing all the building, so…”
“It’s a lot of unknown and a lot of craziness,” she concludes. “Still can’t help but think of all the bad things that could be, you know?”
It’s not the first time the homestead has dealt with a severe injury. Shane’s brother Atz Lee Kilcher suffered punctured lungs and multiple broken bones in an August 2015 fall, and the Discovery series has documented his arduous recovery. Atz Lee has been rebounding well, though, so let’s hope Shane does, too.