Well, let's just say the East didn't have a great year, and neither did I. We had big plans to make it to the mountain every other weekend to participate in a junior race series at
Appalachian Mtn NC. Our first race weekend was filled with excitement, We arrived early Saturday morning and were on the hill at 8:30 for his practice. Skied all day and had a blast .
His first time running the gates Sat. morning
Little brother enjoying his first season. Day 3 and ready to tackle the rest of the hill by days end.
After he mastered Appaltizer we moved onto Strudle. This was his first chair lift experience. He had great control and was so happy to be skiing with big brother. By Sat. afternoon the snow was very soft and made things a lot slower. after lunch he was asking to go to the top and ski Orchard Run, so I took him and the first few times I guided him down between my skies while holding onto him under his arms. Then the big moment, he skied from top to bottom in complete control for the rest of the afternoon. We called it a day around 5:00 and headed to the hotel. Sunday morning we got up and prepared for Hayden's first race of the season. Got to the mountain around 7:30 and registered. made our way to the snow to inspect the course at 8:30.
Over the night we had light showers with temps near freezing. A well groomed hill was awaiting us for another day of fun (so I thought). After inspecting the course we had around 45 min to enjoy the hill before the race started. It is now 9:00 and we are at the top of the hill. My younger son has been waiting for half an hour while his brother inspected the course. Only racers and family members are on the hill. Hayden arrives at the top and we prepare to ski Orchard Run just as we had the day before. I talked to Colsen, the younger of the 2 and explained the the snow is freshly groomed and colder temps overnight meant the snow was hard and fast. "I know daddy, I know" We take off and start skiing.
Starting at the top The blue line went smoothly, started picking up speed and I knew Colsen was going to fast. He could not slow down and at the red curve just above the #6, this is an embankment that separates the terrain park from Orchard run. He skied up it and back down picking up more speed. The wavy green line I thought he had it corrected, but I was wrong. I was only feet behind him and thought of tackling him. Then it happened, the red square by 11. I could see it happen before it happened TREES!
Yep he nailed one dead center, straddled it between his legs. The sound of his head hitting the tree will never leave me. How I got to him and got my skies off I will never know, they were a good 25 feet away when I went to put em back on. Being a former paramedic I was in response mode right away. His face completely swollen only seconds after impact and only a faint moan. The patrol at Appalachian Mtn are TOP NOTCH. they were on scene within 2 min. allowed me to keep cspine and talk to him the whole time. Never once did they ask me if i was trained, or try to push me out the way. A few weeks after the accident I was able to talk to the Patrol first on the scene, and he told me that he could tell by the way I was acting that I had been in some line of first responder work. So they got him down the hill and in the ambulance in no time. The hospital less than 5 mile away, and I meet him in the ER. CT's revealed no damage to the brain at that time. With the trama to the head he is still classified as a level 1 pediatric trama and must be transported to a facility able to better treat him. So from Boone to Charlotte he goes. Levine Children's Hospital downtown Charlotte is where we spend the next 2 weeks and thus puts an end to our season. Thank God he was wearing a helmet. It was estimated impact was around 25mph. The Lord had his hand on Colsen the whole time. It took him 6 days to create this wonderful place, and 7 to heal my baby's superficial injuries.
Day 1 of 3 in ICU. 3 fractures to his pelvis. 6 orbital fractures to the left eye & a CT upon arrival revealed a bruise to the left frontal lobe. Morphine around the clock for 2 days and observation on day 3. Then to a step down unit for 2 days then a regular floor for 1 day. Discharged on day 7 and readmitted to inpatient rehab for what was expected to be 2 weeks.
Day 7.. what a difference. No surgery needed for his pelvis and after 4 visits to plastic surgeon all bones in his left eye are healed, vision is unchanged. Only restriction is no contact sports for 1 year due to a TBI/concussion. Ended up spending 6 days in rehab to get his strength back to be able to walk. Limped around for about 6 weeks, and now you would never know it happened.He does have a nice scar under his eyebrow, but it adds character to his personality.
Big brother witnessed the accident and it took him over a week to bring himself to visit his brother. But once he saw that smile he could not wait to race him down the hall.
6 months later, and enjoying some VBS slip-n-slide action. Already asking when it is going to snow so he can ski again.
Our family has been so truly blessed. Hoping for a better ski season in 2013!