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A strange snowboarder death at Keystone

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This one is quite freakish...
http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20...NEWS/926084398

"In Denver, doctors discovered her injuries were much worse than expected. She had fallen on her buttocks, which created a “shockwave” up her spine and caused a stroke. On March 23, Ash was pronounced brain dead."
post #2 of 15
"Snowboarder declared brain dead.... She had fallen on her buttocks...."

I checked the Aspen Times site to make sure this wasn't somebody playing a sick joke on us. It isn't.
post #3 of 15
What a sad situation.

There may have been some predisposing factors at play, depending on what kind of stroke she had. If it was an ischemic stroke (a clot blocks bloodflow to a portion of the brain), which is the most common type, many different kinds of forces could dislodge a predisposing thrombus... a car accident, slip on the stairs, even putting your head back in a hair salon sink.

It's unlikely that a fall on the buttocks would generate enough force or "shock wave" up a spine to cause a stroke out of the blue.
post #4 of 15
SUMMIT COUNTY - In a tragic turn of events, an Indianapolis pharmacist has died in Colorado after what appeared to be a minor snowboarding accident.

According to the Summit County Coroner's Office, Jennifer Ash, 28, had come to Colorado to visit friends and snowboard on a vacation. On March 16 she fell hard on her buttocks while snowboarding on Inas Way at Keystone.

Since they assumed the injury was not serious, Ash and her friends decided not to contact ski patrol but rather to go to Summit Medical Center in their own vehicle.

When Ash arrived, she was sent by critical care transport to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver. Doctors learned that she had suffered vertebral artery dissection which resulted in a basilar artery stroke and brain damage from the fall.

The coroner's office says Ash was pronounced brain-dead March 23 and died that same day. Her death was ruled an accident.


(Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved)
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
"vertebral artery dissection"... now it makes more sense... the initial report in Aspen Times that I had originally linked would have been less sensational had they included this tidbit.

Which is even odder, being that that two newspapers have the same ownership.
post #6 of 15
Perhaps the author of the original article, Ryan Slabaugh, had problems with big words like 'vertebral' and 'dissection'.

I can picture a doctor speaking to him and seeing the glazed look of incomprehension that is so common on the faces of reporters, then finally simplifying it, and saying 'it was like a stroke'.

I wonder if there was a congenital weakness in the woman's artery that she didn't know about. This reminds me of those young people who suddenly have a heart attack in high school or college, and an autopsy reveals an undiagnosed defect in their connective tissue.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post
I wonder if there was a congenital weakness in the woman's artery that she didn't know about.
Possibly. But also possibly not. Arterial dissection can occur from relatively minor neck trauma, including chiropractic manipulation.
post #8 of 15
This is the victim's sister. She did not have a previous condition or a previous fall to weaken her arteries. She was the picture of health. The one thing I find solace in is that she was extremely happy at her time of death while on vacation on the slopes. I hope that you all use extreme caution and enjoy each trip down the slopes a little extra in memory of my sister.
post #9 of 15
Ash Sister,

We are all sorry to hear about your loss. I am sure that she was indeed the picture of health, but there must be more to the story then this. Please keep us informed if you learn more. However, I am not sure that extra caution would have helped. I will be as careful as always. Once again, sorry for your loss.
post #10 of 15
Thank you Ullr. This article does a better job of explaining what happened: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...47/detail.html
post #11 of 15
Amazing....I would think you would have to shatter and compress your spine long before such a fall would risk injuring or severing any major blood vessels.

My condolences Ash.
post #12 of 15
Welcome to EpicSki Ash Sister. I wish you were joining us under better circumstances. Thank you for sharing the article, and for keeping us informed.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
post #13 of 15
The one common denominator of tragedies like this is they all died doing what they love.
God bless you and your family Ash
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja View Post
What a sad situation.

There may have been some predisposing factors at play, depending on what kind of stroke she had. If it was an ischemic stroke (a clot blocks bloodflow to a portion of the brain), which is the most common type, many different kinds of forces could dislodge a predisposing thrombus... a car accident, slip on the stairs, even putting your head back in a hair salon sink.

It's unlikely that a fall on the buttocks would generate enough force or "shock wave" up a spine to cause a stroke out of the blue.
This information is partially correct. Ischemic strokes are the most common form of stroke (as opposed to hemorrhagic strokes). Ischemia is diminished oxygen delivery to an organ. There are many potential causes of ischemic brain injury; not all ischemic events are the result of thromboemboli, as eluded to above. Causes include endovascular injury, systemic hypotension, as well as thromboemboli. The most common cause of cerebral thromboemboli is atrial fibrillation.

That being said, this is a tragic situation. We know someone who suffered a similar fate. This person, like the snowboarder, was otherwise healthy, in the prime of her life, with a young family. She was involved in a low-speed automobile accident. She suffered an embolic event several days later. While she did survive, she is severely impaired. Sad, very sad. My condolences to the Ash family.
post #15 of 15
Ash's sister,

I'm so very sorry for your loss.
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