Travis Johnson Birch, 1993-2008 |

Travis Johnson Birch, 1993-2008

Special to the DailyHorseback riding was one of the therapy's that imrpoved Travis Birch's (center) life, his parents say.

VAIL, Colorado ” Travis Johnson Birch died peacefully in his West Vail home Monday afternoon, Sept. 29.

Although his life was dramatically changed by a tragic accident at the age of two, Travis still had a profound affect on those who knew him.

Before the accident, Travis was a happy, bubbly little boy, who loved the outdoors, said his mother, Kathryn. His favorite expression was, “I can do it,” as he liked to help with whatever his father, David, or Kathryn were doing.

After his accident, Travis was brought home with a severe brain injury, with little hope of recovery. Because of the care given him by his family, and therapies such as PT, hippotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen treatments, Travis’ pain lessened and his quality of life improved.

Travis also enjoyed being in the water, being read to, listening to children play around him, and going to school when he was able to.

“Travis was simply our son, we loved him and always will,” Kathryn said. “We will miss him and his beautiful smile.”

The Birch family thanks all those who helped take care of Travis through the years.

“Those were the people who gave us hope and were able to see Travis as a person and not just his disabilities,” Kathryn said. “Travis taught many of us so much more about ourselves.”

His father, David Birch, said they mainstreamed Travis as much as possible.

Born Oct. 7, 1993 in Vail, Travis attended Avon Elementary School, Edwards Elementary School and Berry Creek Middle School.

Rhonda Tatham, who worked with Travis over six years, said, “He had such a nice personality that came through everything he did. He was always happy when he was in school.”

Travis was preceded in death by his grandfather, George R. Johnson, and his grandparents, Everett and Marilyn Birch.

In addition to his parents, Travis is survived by his sister, Amelia Birch, of West Vail; grandmother Patricia Lincoln Johnson, of Warwick, Mass.; aunts Kristen L. Johnson (Dan), of Greenfield, Amelia P. Stone (Paul), of West Dummerston, Vt., Andrea Johnson Conlin (Bill), of Edwards, Beverly Townsend (George), of Montrose, Colo., Judy Birch, of Phoenix, Ariz., Casey Birch of Traverse City, Mich.; uncle Larry Birch (Debbie), of Boise, Idaho; and many cousins.

Following cremation, a private family memorial service is planned. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Travis be made to: Vail Board of Realtors Foundation, 0275 Main St., Suite 004, Edwards, CO 81632, or Vail Valley Cares, P.O. Box 1242, Edwards, CO 81632.

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