As you’re aware, our dear friend Tim Brown endured a severe spinal cord injury while on the job at Snowmass Mountain, CO. This blog will be your source for news and information pertaining to Tim’s recovery. This site will also serve as a forum where you can submit well wishes, thoughts and prayers to Tim and his family. We encourage you to share your feelings in the comments section, and all of your words will be shared with Tim.
Below you will find a series of updates that were sent out in the last few days by Tim’s closest friends. This initial post serves to fill you in on details of the accident, and also what has happened thus far in terms of treatment. In the days, weeks, and months to come, you will continue to find updates from Tim’s friends, his family, and ultimately, from the man himself.
It’s a long road ahead, and it’s good to have you all along for the ride. Thank you all for your love and support. -HL
Monday, Feb 14th 10 AM
Yesterday during Patrol Sweep at the end of ski day, Tim was out doing his job but missed a couple of checkpoints. Upon realizing that Tim wasn’t back in the patrol locker room, his fellow patrollers responded extremely quickly and were able to find him. We still don’t know what actually happened, but he was found in a tree well and had severe lacerations on his head. His fellow co-workers were able to get him down and to the hospital in Aspen very efficiently (We cannot express our gratitude enough for the Snowmass Ski Patrol for saving Tim’s life. They worked extremely efficiently while dealing with one of their own beloved Patrollers, which is never an easy task). He spent a few hours being stabilized at Aspen Valley Hospital, however, because of the dangers related to head and neck injuries, they decided to airlift him down to Denver where they have the BEST available resources in the world for spinal cord injuries, Craig Medical Center. Before he was airlifted he was fully awake and alert, albeit quite banged up. He acknowledged our presence and was able to speak briefly.
Tim’s brother, Willis, a couple of his friends and a couple of Tim’s friends were actually able to be down in Denver, at Swedish Hospital, when he arrived in Denver last night. Todd and Willis were able to see him and give him further support before he went into the Operating Room. He went into the OR around midnight and after about 3 hours the surgeon came out and told us that they were able to realign and support his spinal cord and they were able to address his skull fracture and laceration. We were able to see him briefly then, but he was still knocked out from the drugs.
We have just gotten back from seeing Tim and he is awake and alert. He is still banged up and has a breathing tube in as a precaution, so he wasn’t able to talk. He is able to respond and shows clear signs of being intact neurologically. Tim is still the same Tim we have all grown to know and love (the radiating smile and sparkling eyes that the ladies love). There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding everything, but he is making steady progress. There will continue to be a lot of waiting and uncertainty throughout the next few days. We know the uncertainty is very difficult to deal with, but we will do our best to keep everyone updated. We have made sure that he knows everyone is wishing him the absolute best and that they could be here with him.
His parents are extremely grateful and appreciative of all the continued support and willingness to help out. We all know Tim is a fighter and is going to continue to fight throughout this whole ordeal. He is in the best hands he can be in and has support pouring in from everyone. Keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Tim will come out on top. He always does.
Thanks again to everyone for all the support. We will continue to do our best to convey it to Tim, but know it means a hell of a lot to all of us here in Denver and his family.
Monday, Feb 14th 8PM
Tim is surrounded by a whole host of folks who are helping him in person through this difficult time. The doctors took a look at his lungs and despite his currently being aided by a tube to help him breathe, they are confident that no permanent damage was done to his lungs and he will be able to breathe on his own. They are keeping the tube in right now since it is already in there as a precaution. Although he cannot really speak right now and is still heavily medicated, he has been able to answer questions from doctors and can recognize his family and friends who are here with him.
They are going to do another procedure tomorrow to touch up his scalp laceration, but that will mostly be cosmetic. His resiliency and optimism are shining through, as he has been able to smile when surrounded by his parents, brother, and friends.
Tuesday, Feb 15th 10AM
We just sat in on the doctor’s morning briefing and got a lot of positive and encouraging news.
The doctors are confident that he can breathe on his own and they will soon take out the ventilator tube. It will be nice to hear him talk and we know he wants to; he certainly keeps trying to talk. Part of the reason they are confident in his breathing abilities is the fact that he is starting to move his lower arms; the same area of the spine controls some of the breathing muscles (the diaphragm).
Sometime this morning they are planning on having a cosmetic surgeon come in and take care of the lacerations on his head. This will be another step in getting him completely stabilized. Once he is completely stabilized, the plan is to move him across the street to Craig, a hospital that specializes in spinal cord and brain rehabilitation and physical therapy. Craig is truly one of the best hospitals in the world for this type of recovery.
One of the best signs was seeing Spencer getting him to laugh last night and he gave us a big smile when he saw his parents and us this morning. He is in good spirits and loves hearing that you guys are thinking of him.
Tuesday, Feb 15th 7PM
Just a quick update since I know it’s later on the East Coast. Timmy is on his way into the same surgery as mentioned before – the surgery kept getting pushed back due to the lack of plastic surgeons in Denver and high demand for them. He was pretty sedated all afternoon due to the impending surgery. He still has the breathing tube in, as it is necessary during surgery. As long as everything goes according to plan, they should be able to remove it tomorrow. We will let everyone know how it goes as soon as we hear/see him. May not be till late or tomorrow morning. Concerns are low regarding the surgery as it should all be superficial and he is already under anesthesia.
Tuesday, Feb 15th 10PM
Betsy received a call informing us that the surgery was successful and went off without a hitch. Tim is extremely sedated and drowsy from the procedure so we are giving him some time to rest. Will be in at 8 AM to see him in the morning.
Love to Tim and all his friends and family across the globe.