Letter: This amazing valley
It was a beautiful sunny bluebird day with 6 inches of fresh powder. The kind of day we all love here in our happy valley. After a long day of skiing, a longtime friend (Bill) lost his edge and took one of those falls we have all had.
However, due to an old unrecognized neck injury from college days, this fall became quickly life-threatening. Within a few seconds, he stopped breathing.
Then began the miracle of our valley. First, an incredible person that happened to witness the fall stopped and started CPR. Within minutes ski patrol was there. Very quickly, Bill began to breathe again but movement and strength in both arms and legs were diminished. Bill was rapidly brought to Vail Health Hospital and this amazing medical community continued to shine. Having worked and been part of this community and hospital for the last nine years, I realized how much we take for granted. I see the amazing care our patients get on a daily basis. But being part of it from the other side gives you a whole new perspective. There are no words that can really describe the professionalism, the compassion and caring that every person exhibited during this scary life-threatening ordeal. From the ski patrol, to the paramedics, to the admitting personnel, the nurses, the physicians, we were greeted with kindness and caring.
For those of us who live here and for our patients that come to us, both emergently and electively, we are truly lucky and blessed to have this high level of medical care in our community. Bill was transferred to Denver where he underwent surgery to stabilize his cervical spine. He faces months of rehab but fully expects to be skiing down our slopes again, as he has done for the last 40 years.