March 2, The Day my Niece broke her back.

Len, Madie, Jim, Kris, and Jack 

Maddie loaded up, waiting for the heli.

As were entering the Brighton backcountry, off the Great Western lift, we stopped to get a family photo of the Webers.  After the photo, Jack and Maddie headed off down the ridgeline.  Unfortunately, Maddie managed to catch a bush, and lost her left ski.  She went flying down into a depression and managed to fall against a couple protruding rocks.  She immediately was in great pain and didn't move.  Luckily a snowboarder had the phone number for patrol and got the rescue effort started.  The Brighton ski patrol did an excellent job of assessing the situation and getting her down to an area where a helicopter could evacuate her.  At the hospital, it was determined that she had a compression fracture of her L1 verterbrae.  There was no nerve damage and surgery was not needed.  She was fitted with a plastic torso brace to minimize movement of the L1 verterbrae and given a huge handful of pain killers.  After two and a half days she was released from the hospital and was flown home for a week of rest before she returns to Boston for college.  She will need to wear the brace for a couple of months, but should have no permanent damage from the injury.

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