Yesterday was my 29th birthday. This one feels more significant than most having come out the other side guns blazing after a serious accident and recovery. My life has changed significantly over this past year and, I would say all for the best. But that may not have been the case if I had not had the mountain of support carrying me through my recovery. Every day I think about the people that were and are there for me. Every day I wonder how I could ever thank every one of them. And still, I’m not sure how and if any number of thank you’s will ever be enough. But what I do know is I would not be here without each and every one of them.
I went from laying in a room of darkness and hopelessness to paddling class IV rapids in Costa Rica six months later. Since my accident I’ve overcome some major fears and met some incredible people while connecting on a deeper level with old friends. And I truly believe I wouldn’t be here without my support team.
Natali was there with her Wilderness First Responder skills as I lay dazed in the alley covered in blood. Mike Harvey and Zack Hughes were there as I was being wheeled out of the ambulance and into the hospital. Mike got on the phone with one of my best friends and team mates Guillermo Loria as I was being airlifted to the St Mary’s hospital in Denver. And within an hour he put a Gofund me up in my name so I could focus on my recovery and not be worried about how I was going to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills I was about to receive.
My time in the ICU was a blur but I remember feeling so loved as people moved in and out of my “room”. Faces I didn’t expect but was so delighted to see. Nadia Almuti did everything in her power to make me feel loved and cared for. Bradley Hilton looked after me when no one else could. And Gmo and Mike called me almost every day. Josh and Caroline built out there spare room for me so I could recover in the mountains. And my grandmother patiently let me use her car to drive myself to frequent physical therapy sessions.
And then there was everyone who donated money to help me get through my recovery. How does one say a big enough thank you to 100’s of people. Whether you donated $5 or $100’s I see you and I wish I could give each one of you a hug and a home baked plate of cookies. I’m still so humbled by your generosity and I’ve never felt so loved and cared for in my life. It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for all of you. It’s because of you that I was able to take the time I needed to recover and it’s because of you that I am still able to live the life of my dreams. Thank you for believing in me, for loving me, and for holding me up when I couldn’t stand on my own two legs. You all are the glue that held me together over the past year. I LOVE YOU!