Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Gorge vs. The Rock

If you don't know, my stepdaughter has been a raft guide on the Arkansas river in Colorado for 3 summers. She has become a very experienced guide, and she is an adrenaline junkie.

On Monday afternoon we got a call from the rafting company saying she had been in a rafting accident.... let me tell you that is a call that takes your heart and your breath away all at the same time, I actually think I felt blind for a minute. She had been on a training trip on the Royal Gorge which is the most difficult part of the river in her area, and she was the lead guide in the raft. They were about 15 minutes from being out, and they hit a run that caused the raft to fly up and everyone in the boat did as well. Unfortunately "T" did not land back in her spot, she went up and came down in the middle of the raft and she said she knew instantly she was hurt, she was just hoping not bad. Her leg and ankle immediately swelled and changed to a dark shade of purple. They made it to a pull out place and got help. She said as soon as they tried to move her she knew it was pretty bad.

They rushed her to the hospital and it was determined that she had shattered her ankle and broke her fibula in two places. She was going to need surgery.

We got the call(freaked a little) it is very overwhelming to get a call that your child is hurt badly and you can't be there for them. We felt because she was in a small area hospital that we needed to concur with a ortho surgeon here that having surgery there was the best decision, or did we need to figure out how to transport her to Colorado Springs to a bigger metro hospital with an ortho surgeon on staff? Luckily we found out that there was a surgeon on staff in a town close by and arranged for him to be able to consult with the hospital she was at, and ultimately was allowed to perform the surgery. Anyway, after we determined the logistics we got in the car for the 12 hour drive. It was a long silent ride to
Colorado. We knew she was going to be okay, but it really stirs your emotions when an accident like this happens. We were so relieved that she was fine, and it had not been worse, but then it also reminds you that it could have turned out very different. We have always encouraged her to live her dreams, to be passionate about what she does, and for her that has usually involved risk and danger to a degree. It would have been very difficult to deal with that had everything not turned out the way it did. It was really good to see her face when we walked in. I am not sure who was happier to see each other...her or us??

She had to have many pins and a plate to put her ankle back together, and she had to have a plate and screws put on the back of her fibula to secure it back into place. She will have a cast put on in about 10 days, and will have that for about 8 weeks, and then they will decide if she can switch to a boot, and start physical therapy. Her last summer of rafting has come to a early halt, but she has chosen to stay up there and hopefully in a couple of weeks will be able to work in the office booking trips or something until returning for her last year of college.

It has been an exhausting week, and really has been an eye opening experience. While we can't worry about our kids and loved ones all the time and try and prevent them from doing the things they love, always remember to make sure to tell them you love them, and how important they are to you.

"T" we are wishing you a speedy recovery, and there is no doubt in my mind who actually won this you seem to think that you have an amazing "Gorge" story to tell. I know you will run the gorge again, but this time lets do it without breaking any bones!! The surgeon said he didn't want to see you again:)