This article first appeared in the Vail Daily on January 5, 2020.
As I read through today’s Vail Daily and first saw the column on hope and gratitude, followed several pages later by the ad thanking the team from Vail Health and Colorado Mountain Medical staff, I felt compelled to share my story.
On the morning of Dec. 28 I rode the first chair at Beaver Creek. The conditions were great and I had the mountain to myself. On my third run I caught an edge at a very high speed and got to take my first trip down the hill on a sled courtesy of Beaver Creek Ski Patrol. If you’re like me, you probably never put much thought into medical care or the quality of the individuals that take care of us, but as a 53-year-old man who has had two hospital experiences, I quickly realized that Vail Health and this valley is in a class of its own.
It started with a local resident named Jake that stopped and refused to leave me until the ski patrol arrived. The patrollers accessed my situation and got me to the clinic at base of Strawberry Park. From there I saw Dr. Woodland who let me know that he thought I had broken ribs and had a suspicion that I had a collapsed lung. He immediately alleviated my fears, gave me the treatment I needed then sent me via ambulance to Vail Health. Once I got to the hospital, the ER staff took great care of me. They admitted me and had me stay overnight to ensure that my lung would heal itself. Every doctor, nurse and therapist was incredible. They took the time to understand my problems, address my concerns, and coordinate coverage. It was like a well-oiled machine. It was a huge contrast to the care I received in my prior hospital visit in South Florida. I equate it to the difference between a Ritz Carlton and a Days Inn.
While I realize that we often don’t have the choice of where we receive care, if I ever need an elective procedure, I’m coming here to have it done. I just want to thank the medical staff in the valley. You are amazing at what you do. I’m so appreciative of your care and professionalism. To the residents of this happy valley, I hope you realize how fortunate you are to have such amazing medical care right in your backyard.
Delray Beach, Florida, and Edwards