On Saturday, March 11, on a clear and cold morning, we gathered with our friends for our regular first chair ski. It was a glorious day, but the snow was hard and fast. Kyle, Celeste and I skied down Steins, a steep but groomed run we had skied many times before. This time Celeste hit a hard spot and fell, and the hard and steep surface made it impossible to stop. She tumbled and slid hundreds of feet down the hill, ultimately sliding into the woods. I was next to her all the way down, but unable to stop her slide. When we got there she was unconscious and her arm was obviously broken. The ski patrol brought her to the aid station, and then the ambulance took her to the University of Vermont. She had regained consciousness, but barely. At UVM the Level 1 trauma team evaluated her and she was admitted to the ICU. After extensive x-rays, CAT scans and MRIs she was diagnosed with a "floating elbow" (broken humerus, radius and ulna), a small (not clinically significant) subarachnoid hemmorhage in her brain, and a spinal cord contusion.
On exam she was confused and had no sensation or movement of her left arm, had sensation but no movement of her left leg, and weakness of her right hand. Her right leg was fine. Since arrival she has undergone two surgeries to fix her arm (both went very well) and markedly less confusion each day since her arrival. Her right hand strength has improved greatly and she is feeding her self and holding a cup to drink. She is together enough to give a pediatric consult about the 7 month old baby of the trauma surgeon. And connect with all the residents and nurses who have been taking care of her. Gracious, kind and appreciative. And despite being a lefty, has never whined about that side being affected.