A great place to be hurt | VailDaily.com

A great place to be hurt

Kathy HeicherVail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyFriends of (from left) Melissa, Cullen, Chris and Maya Ciocian are organizing a June 10 benefit for the family. Melissa was seriously injured in a snowboarding accident earlier this year.

GYPSUM Melissa Ciocian is a young Gypsum mother whose world has been turned upside down by a snowboarding accident last winter.Ciocian shattered both of her heels, and broke both of her legs when she came out of a tree run and hurtled off a 20 foot retaining wall onto an asphalt road.Needless to say, shes spent a lot of time dealing with doctors since the accident. She was airlifted to a Denver hospital, and underwent four surgeries in 12 days. Confined to a wheelchair, shes looking forward to June 6, which is the date the docs have told her she is allowed to stand up. Shell eventually graduate to a walker.I think by September, Ill be back to a somewhat normal life, she says. Rehab on her legs will continue for the next year and a half.

The accident has had a huge impact on the Ciocian family. They had just moved into their new home in Chatfield Corners two weeks before the crash. Melissa, a former court reporter, is now a stay-at home mom. The Ciocians have two children, Maya, who turns 1 on June 10; and Cullen, 3.Melissas husband, Chris, a former teacher at Battle Mountain High School who is now in the log home business, took six weeks off of work to help care for the children and his wife. Various relatives have turned out to lend a helping hand, and are now helping to pay for a nanny who helps with the kids and Melissa during the daytime.I was so broken when I got home, there was no way I could take care of a 10-month-old, Melissa says.The family moved a hospital bed into the den for her.The Ciocians have health insurance, but discovered in the course of the accident that their coverage for catastrophic injuries was very limited.Thats the reason their friends have rallied together and planned a benefit on June 10 at the Lazy J Ranch at Wolcott, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Its a family event, which will include kid and adult activities, live music, a silent auction, door prizes, great food, and a cash bar.The Ciocian family has been overwhelmed by such a show of community support. Theyve already received a check from Keller-Williams Real Estate. The Calvary Church has placed Melissa on its prayer list. The Keller Williams Realtors have organized to deliver dinner to the family every other night, lifting a huge burden for the family. This valley is a great place to be hurt if this had happened in Denver, there would be nothing like this, said Melissa.Meanwhile, recovering has become something of a full time job for Melissa. She goes to physical therapy, and works out at the Gypsum Recreation Center pool, which has special equipment for people who use wheelchairs.

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