Some of this you may know but here is Cam's story, if you are in the medical field, please forgive my misuse of terms and phrasing, the nurses here are trying to educate me but often I do the hee bee gee dance when they start talking:
On the morning of Saturday, February 20th, Cameron was skiing on Snowmass Mountain taking Alex (11yo) down to her ski club group. It was a clear day and a blue groomer but Cameron hit a lip, then another he wasn't prepared for, caught an edge and slid his legs into the trees. The good news is Alex was far enough ahead that she did not witness the accident and got herself to her instructor without realizing he was injured.
Unfortunately, the impact to his right leg was so severe he severed his artery and his vein, dislocated his knee (all tendons/ligaments) and developed compartment syndrome (acute swelling of the damaged tissue creating decrease blood flow). He was awake and found (he thinks 10 minutes later) and rescued by ski patrol where he was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital. There, the compartment syndrome needed to be addressed and they performed a fasciotomy to release the pressure.
He was flown to St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood to undergo vascular surgery to repair the artery and vein. They also attached the External Fixator to his right leg, no fractures but it is being used to stabilize the knee area. Approximately at 10pm Saturday, he was out of surgery and placed in the ICU. Sadly, between the cut artery and the pressure from compartment syndrome, his tissue didn't receive blood for hours which has become a serious issue.
Sunday, February 21st: They were able to remove his ventilator which was the greatest relief for him. He was THRILLED. Prior to that he was writing chicken scratch notes with his eyes closed and the nurses and I played Pictionary to try and decipher them. Most said “GET TUBE OUT!".
Monday, February 22nd: He slept and was in pain but was offered everything under the sun to ease it and he took them up on a few. They continuously check the pulse in his feet and can confirm good blood flow from vascular bypass.
Tuesday, February 23rd: In the morning he was rushed into surgery because the pulse was hard to find in right leg and the foot was cold. The vascular surgeon and orthopedic surgeon determine it’s the excessive swelling cutting things off, so they increase the fasciotomy (LOOOONG incisions) and end up cleaning out (remove) 2/3 of his calf muscles. Good news, the artery and vein repair look great. If anyone is morbidly curious, Cameron had them take pictures of the original fasciotomy.
Wednesday, February 24th: He mostly slept.
Thursday, February 25th: Scheduled surgery in the morning to clean out and explore the right leg. Had to remove the muscle that moves the big toe. Remaining calf muscle looks fair but not great. Not able to close the leg because they will re-enter on Saturday.
Every time they come in, they prepare us for worst (amputation) but we haven’t given up hope for a better recovery. Either way, Cameron has a long journey of recovery and rehabilitation in front of him but we are grateful he had no head trauma or organ damage.
Saturday the 27th is our next hurdle. If they can keep his leg, then reconstruction won’t be for at least 6 weeks for the knee. We should be in the ICU for awhile because he still requires transfusions and has those open leg incisions (fasciotomy).
For those of you who have been to Snowmass Village and skied with Cam, you know his passion for the sport and the mountain. He loved nothing more than showing friends around a place that is special to him and our family. We know the love is still there and Cameron will find some way to get back out there.
In the meantime, your words of love and support have been greatly appreciated. I share with Cameron all the heartfelt messages and he smiles every time.
As of now, we don’t have any immediate needs for anything other than positive thoughts or prayers as you please. We’ve had amazing friends step up and help with the girls and the puppy we so poorly timed! (Thank you Miller Family, Hertz/Cummings Family and Laura Stuto!)
Our needs may change down the road but if you felt inclined, I know a donation to Cameron’s favorite charity, Challenge Aspen, in honor of him, would be a special gift. He volunteered for them for a season and serves on their board currently. https://challengeaspen.org/
I know this is a lengthy explanation but I’ve tried to answer, in one long recap, the accumulation of questions people have asked me, to paint the picture as best I can. I will try to post updates with the help of Lindsay Miller.
Thank you all again for all your outpouring of love and support. When I feel alone and get a text it just reminds me of all of you out there wishing us the best.