The anniversary of our son’s 200-foot paragliding crash on Smelter Mountain has come and gone, and I’d like to give huge compliments and heartfelt thanks to all the people who helped him during that critical time. Thank you to the Durango Fire & Rescue crew that stabilized Rudy and brought him down the mountain, with the help of Rudy’s Helitack crew and the wildland firefighters who cleared the path down the mountain.
Thank you to the emergency room doctors such as Dr. Black and all the people who coordinated the surgeries that were done by Drs. Douglas Orndorff, Rich Lawton, Kim Furry and Ryan Naffziger, along with all their assisting physicians. What an amazing and talented group of surgeons! Thank you to all the skilled and caring nurses and physical therapists at Mercy Hospital for all the TLC you gave Rudy, as well as us. And thanks to all Rudy’s friends and family who gave him lots of encouragement and companionship, as well as to all the people who helped with the Fill the Boot fundraiser.
Many times after remembering accidents, I’ve uttered, “Whatever happened to that guy?” Well, in this case, “that guy” is doing really well. Rudy had lots of surgery, spent almost four months in a wheelchair, another month on crutches and did lots of physical therapy. (And by the way, I have to tell you that watching your child taking his first steps a second time is even better!) Rudy’s enjoyed a winter filled with many days skiing and now has a job taking groups of children mountain bike riding.
People of Durango, rest assured: You are blessed with a gifted group of health-care professionals! Thank you to everyone for all you have done to give our son his life back!
Pam and Bill Unrau