Broken in backcountry |

Broken in backcountry

Daily Staff Writer

Broken in backcountry

Members of the Vail community are quick to action

Seth Fullerton


When I moved here a few months ago, I was told that members of the Vail community are quick to action, skilled in their work and eager to help. But I guess I had to find out for myself.

On March 1, I gave the Ski Patrol the chance to practice a challenging, risky and technically difficult backcountry rescue from Blue Ski Basin. They succeeded admirably in extracting my near frozen, femur-fractured body.

Although our time together was limited the crew of the ambulance figured out how to make me as comfortable as possible.

I donit remember much about the emergency room, but the admitting team must have quickly recognized the seriousness of the situation because I was moved straight up to pre-op.

I feel very fortunate to have timed my injury so that the skillful hands of Dr. Richard Hawkins could put my leg back together. Dr. Douglas Lowery and the other talented and knowledgeable folks in the Steadman Hawkins Clinic made me whole.

Even in my broken and battered state, I was aware of and benefited tremendously from the positive, well-informed and playful staff of the Vail Valley Medical Center and the Howard Head Center.

I’m just happy I was able to give so many people an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency.

In all seriousness, I lost half my blood, my leg will set off metal detectors for years to come, but I am mostly filled with gratitude for all the help I received. Without the expert assistance and kindness of everyone on the Ski Patrol, the Steadman Hawkins Clinic, the Vail Valley Medical Center, the Howard Head Center, my friends and family, I wouldn’t be here today.

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