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Sad news from Schweitzer get-together - Page 3

post #61 of 160
One way or another this community is bound to get these guys home in style and reasonable comfort. I'm just waiting to hear back. Major props to Mark and Lisa for stepping up at this point, but if necessary I'm sure we will all back them up.
post #62 of 160
We're working on it. Mark is on the phone with Bonni and Jeff as I type.

Since I got many of my miles from paying for my ACL surgery with my credit card, this seems like a good use for them!

We will keep you posted.
post #63 of 160
Originally Posted by Lisamarie View Post
We're working on it. Mark is on the phone with Bonni and Jeff as I type.

Since I got many of my miles from paying for my ACL surgery with my credit card, this seems like a good use for them!

We will keep you posted.
It sure does , Lisa. :
post #64 of 160
I just read this. how awful, it must have been as scary as hell. You always want to hear that the person wasn't in pain, but it sounds like the opposite in this case. I'm so sorry to read of this.
post #65 of 160
Mission accomplished (partially). I only had Jeff's reservation# initially, so I was able to upgrade his seat to first on both legs, and Bonni can actually be the one who sits there.

But when Lisa logged in to try to upgrade Bonni once we had her locator#, she couldn't do it online since the first flight no longer had any first class available. They could do the second leg, but you can't upgrade part of an itinerary via the web, you have to call. When you call to upgrade someone with a different last name, you are required to physically go to the airport and sign a form verifying the upgrade. That is literally impossible for Lisa to do for a number of reasons, including her being at ESA.

Catch 22. We couldn't even confirm the 2nd leg and waitlist the first, because of this regulation.

I don't want to try to undo the upgrade I did already for Jeff, since the single upgrade availability might disappear or go to somebody else waitlisting for it while I try to switch it. Jeff's upgrade shouldn't need me to go to the airport since it was done online. So Jeff, let Bonni have your seat. She'll send you back a drink
post #66 of 160

Re upgrades

For what it's worth...when I broke my leg in Mexico this spring I showed up at the airport in a wheelchair with a young offical looking lady tending me : , Alaska upgraded me to 1st class without a charge, and my "nurse" was only charged $100. I did not call in advance, I just showed up at the gate.

Alaska was great at having people waiting at gates with wheel chairs to take me from one terminal to another in LA, and the cabin crew was most kind and efficent.

Though it's little consolation, you can zoom past security real quick in a wheel chair!

Good luck Bonni!
post #67 of 160
It's great to see our community coming together to help another Bear.

Some thoughts though are crossing my mind (considering I've just been through the same accident):

1. My doctor strongly discouraged any attempt to fly during the first 6 weeks of recovery. The mandatory leg elevation really is no joke. Depending on the severity of the break it's really painful to have the leg below the heart level for any extended period of time. The trauma of the initial injury has a major impact on the vascular health of the leg.

2. The doc also said that the risk of blod clots is very high in the first 2 weeks after the accident. Airplane travel would only increase the risk.

3. I'm not sure where on a plane you would be able to maintain an elevated leg unless you had 3 seats across by yourself. Keep in mind that elevation really requires that the point of injury be at least 3-6" above the heart level to be really effective.

Of course if it were me I'd want to find some way to get myself home no matter what, but knowing what I know now (about what it takes to care for this type of injury) I'm unsure if I would attempt airplane travel.

Hopefully someone knows some better answers to these concerns and can give us some additional info.
post #68 of 160
Please keep in mind that this isn't just a typical broken leg. I've learned that these boot top fractures requiring surgery are a whole different animal. I've had plenty of broken bones, but nothing compares to what this is like. This is major surgery with many risks and possible complications. Sorry to be a downer - I'm just trying to provide more of a realist's point of view.
post #69 of 160
I'm really proud of what has been done so far. Thanks Mark and Lisa. If a cash upgrade is what it takes, Jeff should just grab the upgrade and I'm sure we can help them out to where he won't feel the financial hit.

Then Bonni can put her leg on him for the whole trip. First Class is just 2 seats across, and the bulkhead should have enough room for elevation. Besides, free booze goes great with pain killers; especially when you are the nurse. :

Noodler, the trip could be vetoed by the Doctors. Whatever they decide. I sure hope they can get home. If travel is really restricted some health insurance covers air transport. You might recall mtnlion when he had his motorcycle accident in Colorado and needed to return to BC.
post #70 of 160

Bonni's Injury

Mattitude, Slider and Pete No. Idaho. We were there and watched Bonni take just a normal little fall that resulted in a double compound fracture, tibia and fibular. We went and got the Ski Patrol rolling and were very sad to come back and see Bonnie in terrible pain with blood on the boot. Sometimes the worse things happen to the best people. Later we all visited Bonni in the Bonner County Hospital and although she was highly sedated she still showed her indomitable spirit. All 3 of us were very sad for Bonni and Jeff, out best wishes continue to be with you for a speedy recovery.

Slider, Mattitude and Pete No. Idaho
post #71 of 160

Awful News!

So sorry to hear about the accident at Schweitzer. Best wishes for a comfortable trip home and a speedy and uneventful recovery from Helen and I.
post #72 of 160
Seems like its no longer if, its when....damn.

Speedy recovery!
post #73 of 160
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
Then it was as we feared. It is good to hear she's in good enough spirits to blame you and the snowsnakes. Damn them snowsnakes!

BTW Garry, we were all wondering what had become of you after I went off on my jackrabbit lead, where did you get off to?
I followed you into the woods to the right of Pete. he went left and I continued on my path . I saw the skier not to be named as I popped out into a nearby run. i was on his right and he cut sharply up to Snow Ghost and I was going too fast in my line to make that turn and went down to Stella and waited.. I assumed you guys went back up Snow Ghost and not seeing Bonni and Jeff and knowing they wanted to cruise the afternoon I went to ski the front side runs. White lightning, Styles, the trees to the right if the Quad (windblown and hard shell, yuck)and Pend Orielle. I skied alone until I was bored and then looked to find others at the bottom. I put my skis in the rack at about 3:30 and found Jeff in the lodge .He told me what had happenned and we left for the hospital after looking upstairs for the rest of you guys.

I guess we needed to follow the #1 rule of skiing with groups and that is declaring a rally point for each run and keeping track of each other. Sorry if I caused you concern. I heard you guys all met up soon after I went up Stella and skied together until Bonnis accident. I should have waited a bit longer but how would I have known? It was great to ski with some great skiers and just as nice of people to hang out with.
I look forward to skiing with you guys again.
post #74 of 160
Did anyone actually call the airlines and tell them the situation or did they just assume United wouldn't help and just proceed with whatever?

The reason I am saying this, and the reason I mentioned it before is because, two years ago when my Son broke his leg, we called United and told them the situation. Not only did they offer to put my son in First class, they upgraded us all to first class, free of charge.
post #75 of 160
Mark and Lisa, I'm blown away by your generosity. You do us Bears proud. Cirquerider let us know what more we can do. Money shouldn't be an issue, a little from a lot of us should be enough if it comes to that.

Bonni and Jeff, this is not the way to remember a vacation. I hope your return flight will be comfortable. I wish there were something I could do.
post #76 of 160
The agent Lisa and I spoke to when we tried to get the 2nd upgrade was aware of the situation, and didn't offer a thing. So did the first agent I talked to after upgrading Jeff, when I called to find out the other locator# Perhaps Jeff will have luck at check-in in getting what frequent travelers call an "op-up" (an operational upgrade at the gate not supported by any upgrade instrument or currency.)

Lars, I understand what you're saying but United is very much not disposed to do anything special these days. From firsthand experience just a week ago, when I canceled a business trip due to my just-broken shoulder and wanted to reschedule it, they wouldn't even waive the $100 change fee for an elite member, and had no interest in the note I have from my doctor saying I shouldn't fly for 2-3 weeks.

Also, flights on all airlines are far fuller these days than just two years ago. They've all cut back on number and/or size of planes on each route and are filling them to capacity. It's rare to have even an empty middle seat next to you, and that's supposed to be a United Premier Elite benefit when at all possible. Plus that's after all us elites have rabidly been diving for F upgrades we feel "entitled" to, like a fresh line on a powder day - F is always full with higher status elites, Coach is packed to the gills, and if someone without status tries for an upgrade they're usually not even available for sale.

Lars, I think you got lucky (at least with the flight, the accident was horrible) when UA upgraded you all. It absolutely isn't policy. I would encourage Jeff to call them arranging for seats, wheelchair, and asking if there's any way they can sit together in first. But that's much easier now that they already have one seat confirmed in first.

The days of the airline agent upgrading a family or a couple just because there's an injury are long gone in the US airline industry. And I'm not bashing UA - I think they're the best of the bunch overall, that's why they get most of my (and my client's) travel dollars. Plus the Chicago to Albany leg they're on is a BarbieJet with a tiny First class - only 2 rows of 3 (1+2) seating. Those are hotly contested for by elites who have "the right" to an upgrade under most circumstances. I figure let's improve the odds by locking in at least one of those few seats by using my miles.

It's just miles (It's not as if I'm not scoring 26,000 miles just a couple of months later from one trip to Germany on a $321 ticket!)

PS - Ironically even my having the miles is as an indirect result of Epic. I thought I was pretty good at the FF game but then ElkMtnSkier introduced me to FlyerTalk.com a couple of years ago. I probably scored 3-5 times the number of miles I normally would from frequent traveler tips I learned over there.
post #77 of 160
Personally, I have found when ever I needed something special from an airline, getting beyond the front line ticket agent is the secret.
Asking for a supervisor or shift foreperson can sometimes find somebody sympathetic to your plight. AND with the authority to make things happen for you!

(I have managed to fly internationally with 10 pairs of skis, at no charge, by using this trick.)
post #78 of 160
I'll add that significant cash offers have been made and that if they are needed, I will certainly post a thread. I have a business level paypal account that could be used to move funds fairly quickly to wherever they are needed. If anyone wishes to make a donation with the understanding it has not yet been asked for, they may do so through my paypal account tom at permithelp dot com, or just send a PM with the amount and I can send an invoice, and I will shift the funds to bonni and jeff (be sure to include your online name so we can acknowledge your contribution). For now, I would suggest waiting until we hear more from them.

Morning update: Bonni is being weaned off the morphine and towards percocet and is in a great deal of discomfort this morning. Doctors are pleased with her progress. Jeff has been staying in the room and is looking forward to checking into a nearby room later today and getting a shower and hopefully internet access. They are just blown away by all the concern and help that has come from this community of friends.

For those interested in the gory details, Bonni described a backwards fall with her skis suddenly sticking and rolling. The tipia displaced through the front of the shin. Sean was immediately behind her and provided immediate comfort and aid until patrol arrived. And yes, they were Marker demo bindings.

Good job bears! This community has so much comradarie and good vibes. We have alway come together when help is needed. Knowing how many people care will be a great boost to help Bonni in recovery. I will try to have a copy of this thread delivered.

post #79 of 160
Hi Bonni,

Sorry to hear about your accident. I hope that you mend fast and pain free. do your rehab and you will be back before you know it.

Rick H
post #80 of 160
Originally Posted by GoldMember View Post
Wow, sorry to hear about this. Big bummer! Garry, where exactly were you poaching when this happened and what was the snow like? Was Ted Cook one of the patrols (short guy, about 45, really a great guy and very skilled patroller)? Best wishes, Bonni! Sorry your PNW Ski Crawl is now so literal!
Ted was there, we were on Catherral something or other, had to go down to the back base and back up to the front sided
post #81 of 160
i foind a starbucks with internet access. I have been trying to get an agent on the phone to try to upgrade the second reservation and have been on hold for an eternity.

As Tom said, I and Bonni are blown away at all offers---it is very much appreciated.

post #82 of 160
WARNING Gory details

For those interested in such things, the doc seems to think the repair has taken really well. Into the 36-48 hour time frame and virtually no swelling. We had a time getting back on top of the pain management this morning as she decided sleep was better last night than punching the morphine drip button every 6 minutes. 4 to 5 hours later it took an intense hour to
get back on track of management.

Dr came and inspected this morning around 9, undressed the leg and showed us all the various pinnings. Stainless rod through an incision below the knee, with two screw attachment incisions --- one at either end. Tibial rod only. He said, while it is a serious injury, the parts fit back together extremely well.

The exit wound is another story! Yeeps! an approximately 3 inch gash across the front of the shin about 2 inched below boot top level.
post #83 of 160
Actually J the rod and screws are better than a cast. My Son has never had a bit of problem with his leg. The rod and screws are still there and giving him no side effects. The rest? I know how the ride home and the airports were for us. You'll need all the patience and luck in the world for that.
post #84 of 160
To update. Jeff and Bonni have obtained side by side first class seats all the way home. Mark and Lisa donated miles for the first seat and United required a cash upgrade for the second seat of $700.00. Everything has worked out great and they should be in the air on Wednesday.

If anyone wants to contribute to defray that cost, I'll say again that Jeff has not asked for assistance, but you can PM me and I will provide a paypal account and make sure they get the funds.
post #85 of 160
Lars yer scarin me man! I've got wheel chair care lined up all the way across.

I'm pleased to have seats lined up and ready to roll. It is looking like next week is a go---at least now it is.

I think she will be here for at least Saturday and Sunday getting stronger and more steady with a walker. Possibly get back to Spokane on Monday maybe??

Thats the plan at the moment.

Shes is now off the morphine drip. all catheters are out, walking to the bathroom with assistance, percocet pain management is getting tweaked together.

She took one short walk today.

I put the three best photos I took up with CR's help, maybe you'all can see them. I know Matt has many more, I did a lousy job, the visibility was not the best and the camera froze up---howzatt fer 'excuses!

post #86 of 160
skier_j, the beginning of a trip report and the pics you posted can be fount in The PNW Ski Crawl- The TR. Please feel free to add.
post #87 of 160
Thread Starter 
Wow, walking already, cool!

Jeff and Bonni, I got the message with the question about our friend very late last night, then today I ran out the door very early getting my son to his first lesson. Anyway, I did forward the phone and room number to him, though I didn't have his number.
post #88 of 160
Wow - this is just awful. A little late to the game here but wishing you the best Bonni - sounds like you're on your way.
post #89 of 160
J, I got to tell you the whole story. My Son broke his leg at Copper two years ago, boot top fracture, surgery at the Stedman Clinic in Vail. Anyhow, United bumped us all to First Class for the trip home. Denver to Chicago, Chicago to Buffalo. So after breezing through check in and security with the very good help of a very nice old man and his beeper cart, we made it to C Gate. Checking in there for our boarding passes didn't go so good. Seems that our plane that was supposed to be a 767 was down so the flight to Chicago was a 757 with about 30 fewer First and Business class seats. Guess what. There was no room in first class for us. It was a fun ride to Chicage with DJ in the aisle seat with his legsup across me and my Wife all the way. As bad as that was, When we got to Chicago,the Buffalo flight was weather delayed. After three lovely hours on a Sunday afternoon in Ohare Airport, the departure sign flashed our flight number cancelled. Buffalo was snowed in. So, off to the airline agent. If the weather improved by tomorrow and flights resumed, the next best guess is we might get on a plane sometime Tuesday morning. The next step was trying to find a hotel room which to no avail,as all the rooms within 3 miles of the Airport were filled. Being faced with spending two nights in Ohare with a 19 year old boy in severe discomfort and no place to rest. I called my Sister in Law in Grand Rapids,Michigan. I asked her if she might put us up for the night if we could get there. Of course she said yes. So, I talked United into putting us on the next plane to Grand Rapids where we at least spent the night comfortably and I could drink several Scotch and Waters. The next day, we borrowed their club cab pickup truck and drove seven hours in a snow storm before we finally made it home. Three of us in the front seat,DJ laying down with his leg elevated in what back seat there was. It was the trip from hell, of which I wish your better luck and the hopes of your laughter over this very true story.
post #90 of 160
I haven't been paying as close attention to epic as I usually do, and have missed this.

Bonni, I'm really sorry, you of all people do not deserve or need this.


Feel free to call/PM me.
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