Saturday event to help woman recovering from brain surgery |

Saturday event to help woman recovering from brain surgery

Melinda Dudley

Penny Paxton can’t remember the days in September before she was airlifted to Denver for the removal of a tennis-ball-sized tumor in her brain.

“My husband said I kept complaining about a headache,” Paxton said Thursday.

On Sept. 8, Paxton had undergone shoulder surgery, causing the then-unknown tumor to swell. Four days later, she was airlifted to Denver for emergency brain surgery.

“I don’t remember a thing,” Paxton said. “When I woke up in the hospital, I asked, ‘Why am I here?'”

Then, in November, Paxton began hearing a clicking noise in her head. It was a symptom of spinal fluid leaking in her brain, requiring her to undergo another surgery.

The Colorado Bar & Grill will be hosting a benefit for Penny and her husband, Ed, on Saturday, to help pay medical bills and defray costs during her ongoing recovery.

“We can help get their bills paid through the winter, until they can get back to work,” benefit organizer Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman said.

Longtime Oak Creek resident Paxton had been working at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel until her surgical odyssey began in September. Although her tumor was benign, doctors estimate it could be more than a year before she can return to work.

Saying her brain is like “memory foam,” Paxton explained it takes awhile for her brain to refill the space where the tumor had been. In the meantime, she tires and becomes short of breath easily. Still, Paxton said she feels fortunate that the tumor was found when it was.

“They said maybe if the anesthesia for my shoulder didn’t make it get inflamed, the way it was pressing on my left side could have caused a seizure, blindness or death,” Paxton said.

A $5 donation is suggested for Saturday’s benefit, which includes a potluck lunch and live entertainment from Deb Lenhart, Dave Moran and Casual Delusion. Bake sale items also will be on sale.

Raffle drawings will be conducted every half-hour during the benefit, for prizes and services, donated primarily by South Routt businesses and residents. Tickets will be sold for a suggested $1 donation. Nearly 50 raffle prizes had been donated as of Thursday.

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. – Paxton’s former employer – donated a 10-day Super Value season pass to the Steamboat Ski Area and an overnight stay at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, complete with breakfast for two.

A separate auction will be conducted for a 2-year-old, registered American Quarter Horse, donated by Donna Corrigan. The horse will be awarded to the highest bidder Dec. 20. Donations are being accepted to the Penny Paxton benefit fund at First National Bank of the Rockies in Oak Creek.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.