Onni's own stories:

Hazardous Orienteering

Letter From The Finnish Winter War

The Scout Movement on The March

A Visit to Kilimanjaro

Onni Goes Flying

Onni Goes On a Lion Hunt

Hazardous Orienteering

Onni tells the story himself

We were in the terrain in Saltsjöbaden, where we had a club championship in orienteering. I was in a good position when I arrived at Källtorpssjön, on top of a hill that was 10 - 12 metres high. "Crumbs", I thought. "Do I really have to get down on the side of the hill and run around it and lose several minutes"? Then I saw a tree, a Birch that grew on the steep side of the hill. "If I lean out and grab that, I can make it", I thought. "Then I will slide down the trunk of the tree to get down from the hill". I leaned forwards and fell headlong down. My feet slipped on the wet moss and could not get any grip.

I woke up among rocks. I had got the first hit on a small ledge on the way down. That is where I cracked my skull. That emerged later when they saw that there was blood on the edge. After that, I must have landed on hands and feet. I do not know that, since I was already unconscious. When I woke up and was alive, I thought I was in Heaven. "It is incredible, how beautiful it is", I thought. Then I wiped my eyes and could see again. There was blood everywhere. I had not been able to see anything at first, because I had blood over both eyes. My whole shirt was full of blood. Everything was full of blood. I lay there and thought, "Now, what do I do?" Then I looked at the map that was tied to my wrist. The compass was on the other wrist. "There should be a stream right below here", I thought, so I crawled down to that stream. I had cracked my skull. Not only that, all my teeth were loose. I could have played the piano on them. When I pushed them up, they fell over again. There was gravel that had been pushed in, too. I lay there in the stream for a while and just let the water rinse through my mouth. Then I guess I washed my face, covered with a large leaf and over that a handkerchief. I started walking in the direction I was supposed to go. I ran into a friend, "Muren" Strandberg, who was also one of our good runners. He had started after me so he had caught up with me. I did not know how long I had been unconscious. He had lost his check card so he was in trouble as well. We teamed up, walked to the next checkpoint, and asked if they could help us with bandages. They did not have any, but they gave me a cup of coffee, which I hardly dared to drink. We stamped our cards and walked to the next checkpoint. The same thing happened there - they did not have any dressing material. I looked horrible! We met a Scout patrol and they dressed my wounds, very quick and very nice. My whole head was covered in dressing material. They gave me a pack of cotton wool to put in my mouth to keep my teeth in place and so that I should not poke them with my fingers. We arrived at the finish. He won and I was second - can you imagine? We did not miss a metre to the last checkpoints, and we had done a good race before that as well.

They took me to the hospital in Saltsjöbaden, where they stitched up my head and brushed my mouth clean. They gave me a rubber plate to put in my mouth. "What will happen to my teeth?" I asked. "Time will tell", said the doctor. Then he just pressed them back up and put the rubber plate in my mouth. "If your teeth are good, nothing will happen, but the can turn black after a year". Then they sent me home but told me to go to a hospital if my pulse got very low during the night.

At that time, I lived at Observatoriegatan, next to Sabbatsberg Hospital. My pulse went down to around 35 during the night, due to the concussion and the bleeding. The doctor should not have sent me home. He should have kept me in the hospital for at least 24 hours. So, I went into Sabbatsberg Hospital. Professor Crafoord was there and he called the other doctor in Saltsjöbaden Hospital on the telephone and gave him a real telling off! The idea to let a patient with concussion and such serious injuries out, that was inexcusable.

I was in the Sabbatsberg Hospital for over a month. I had a concussion and I was not allowed to read, but the let me draw since that affected different nerves. The nurses fetched a drawing-table that they mounted above the bed. There I was, drawing and making pictures. My teeth grew back onto the jaws. Time and again, I got up to look in the mirror. This poor body has taken a lot of bashing.