It’s a shocking and surprising Alaska TLF Season 8 update this week, as the family has just announced Shane Kilcher suffered a broken back while working on he and wife Kelli’s new cabin on the homestead. While few specifics about the fall itself have yet to emerge, it seems Shane’s fall resulted in a crack two-thirds of the way through one of the vertebrae in his lumbar spine.
Most of what we know comes from a quick-release video that Discovery shared yesterday. Here’s the full Alaska TLF Season 8 update from Discovery, featuring a brief interview with Kelli and a few clips of Shane in his hospital bed:
“We’re in a hospital in Homer,” Kelli says–sounding surprisingly resilient, given the situation. “Shane fell off a ladder and broke his back. Big, strong Shane,” she says, her voice breaking and tears gathering in her eyes. “He’s the big, strong one; he’s supposed to do everything.”
An explainer from Discovery reveals that Shane landed on his back after the fall, breaking his L2 vertebra, and that “the horizontal fracture extends two-thirds of the way through the bone.” (The L2 is the second vertebra from the top of the five vertebrae that make up the lumbar spine of the lower back–click here for an illustration.) Though the clip doesn’t offer a full diagnosis–and it may be too soon to expect one, depending on when the fall took place–Kelly explained that, for the time being at least, Shane is “not moving.”
However, a few hours after Discovery shared its video, Kelli offered a second Alaska TLF Season 8 update on Shane’s condition via the couple’s official Facebook page. Details are still scant, but Kelli did offer cause for optimism by saying that Shane is “doing well”:
Shane and Kelli both considered leaving the show a couple of seasons back, but ultimately decided to stay on for Alaska The Last Frontier Season 7 and 8. The most recent news we’d heard from the couple had been good: Kelli’s multiple sclerosis seemed to be in remission, and she and Shane were looking forward to finishing construction of their cabin “and plan to be living there full time [this past] summer!”
Additionally, an unrelated Alaska TLF Season 8 update from Atz Lee Kilcher just a few days before Shane’s accident revealed that, while filming for the current season is almost done, the cameras haven’t been turned off quite yet. So it’s likely that we’ll get to see the immediate aftermath of Shane’s fall at the end of Season 8, if not the fall itself.
Best wishes to Shane and Kelli both as he begins what will hopefully be a quick and full recovery!
Alaska The Last Frontier‘s eighth season continues Sunday nights at 9 on Discovery.
(Photo credits: Alaska TLF Season 8 update via Discovery)