Sam Selander – A Long Road Ahead

Sam Selander – A Long Road Ahead

By Caitlin Dieni

Sam Selander & Caitlin Dieni

I was making my way down the sterile hallway that expressed cleanliness and silence. I could feel the sadness and fear that filled the air of the Neuro – Trauma unit.

As I approached room number 7026 on the seventh floor of theSalemhospital, I stopped and stared. Unsure of what trauma I would see, I called into the room:


What happened to my brother, the SeaMonster, and what put him in a hospital bed?

                Oct. 31st – it was on 72nd and Aumsville highway that Sam Selander was driving around at approximately seven pm. It was dark outside, and a road he had never before travelled on. Driving down the road he was cruising at about 45-50 mph: the speed limit. Selander came to an intersection where he had caught the stop sign at the last second. By the time he had entered the intersection, a large Chevy truck was coming his way. He described the moment as having only enough time to wince and protect himself the best he could.

He was hit directly in the driver’s side door.

Selander’s 1998 Honda Civic looked as if it had been demolished in a wrecking yard and the scene looked fatal. Selander had pulled himself out of his own vehicle after destroying the left side of his body and was lying against his car when a woman nearby came out to hold Sam and pray. He calls her his angel.

She sat there with him until he was picked up by paramedics. He says without her he would have been flat on his face against the pavement.

Selander was initially taken to the Stayton hospital, but was then transported to theSalemHospitalfor further examination and more utilities to work with.

“I didn’t really know what was going on. I knew I was in pain and that everything hurt, but I don’t initially recall what exactly happened after the collision.”


A quiet “come in” answered me and I slowly entered the room. I looked around and quickly noticed all of the cords, flashing lights, and instructions covering my best friend.

I looked in at Sam, who looked back at me with staples in his head, protection on his arm, bruises on his body, and IV’s in his veins. This appearance was largely better than the one on Halloween night. He demanded I see photos of him from after immediate impact. That was disgusting. His unplanned zombie costume worked well with his gashes, blood, and mangled skin.

He looked back at me with open arms and a smile. I walked over to the side of his bed and I hugged him. My

@SeaMonsterMMA on Twitter

hug was filled with love, demolished anxiety and more importantly, thankfulness that he was alive.

I wasn’t sure how I would react seeing my brother in a hospital bed, rather than in the cage being the funny, obnoxious beast that he always is. Seeing him smiling from ear to ear, and looking happy as ever surely calmed any fears I had previously had.

Sam is still the same Sam.

A car accident can’t change him.  An injury list a mile long can’t change him.

Sam exited his vehicle with a pelvis that was broken in three areas, an open fractured elbow, a mild concussion, a large cut on his head, a fractured left rib, and a bruised kidney.

Today Sam smiles, and is looking towards recovery. He will have an extensive amount of physical therapy and learning to do. He has to learn how to go to the bathroom, put his clothes on, and even simpler than that, get out of bed.  Selander is optimistic for the road ahead and is looking forward to getting back in the cage. First things first, he’d like to get out of his wheelchair.

“I still plan on getting back in the cage; this isn’t the end of the Sea Monster by any means.”

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