Doctors say Steamboat city manager could be released April 8
Tentative date set for Jon Roberts
Steamboat Springs — Doctors have set a tentative release date of April 8 for Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts, who is progressing rapidly in his recovery from a Jan. 2 skiing accident.
Interim City Manager Wendy DuBord said Roberts likely will return home to Steamboat Springs for outpatient treatment very shortly after release from Craig Hospital, an Englewood facility that specializes in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.
Doctors are expecting “full recovery” for Roberts by July, said DuBord and Roberts’ wife, LeAnn Roberts. LeAnn said Sunday that Roberts is very conversational, walking with the aid of objects for balance, writing, lucid and “able to do just about anything.” He’s progressing exponentially in his physical and mental therapy — so much so, she said, that therapists have to re-calibrate their recovery procedures.
“He’s sort of their star student around here. He’s testing so high, they’re not even sure how to deal with that right now,” LeAnn Roberts said.
Jon Roberts watched the Super Bowl on Sunday with LeAnn and their two sons, JB, 25, and Jason, 22.
And he has his memories back — most of them, at least.
Doctors “basically said that he is officially out of what they call post-traumatic amnesia,” DuBord said. “He has all his memories, except for the period around and right after the accident. …He doesn’t know what happened.”
Roberts was found unconscious on the flat area below the intermediate Sitz ski run early in the afternoon Jan. 2. The ski run is below the Christie Peak Express lift and above the expert See Me and See Ya runs.
Both skis came off in his fall. A Steamboat Ski Patrol report and police statements indicated his right ski, found 100 to 200 yards down the slope, ahead of Roberts, contained part of the sole of Roberts’ boot in the binding.
In addition to the brain trauma, Roberts also suffered three broken ribs, a broken bone below his left eye and a separation of his left shoulder at the collarbone. He was flown to Denver Health medical center Jan. 2, regained consciousness Jan. 10 and was transferred to Craig Hospital on Jan. 18.
“He doesn’t remember being in Denver Health at all,” DuBord said.
Sunday marked five weeks since Roberts’ fall. LeAnn said her husband doesn’t remember about the first three weeks of that period.
He does remember New Year’s Day, though, including LeAnn’s black-eyed-pea soup, she said. But he remembers nothing about the fall a day later.
“According to the doctors, it would be impossible for him to remember the day of,” she said.
LeAnn’s tone was noticeably lighter and cheerier Sunday, as she talked about Roberts’ progression. It’s possible that he could come home earlier than the tentative April 8 date, she said, but doctors are being cautious.
She said this period could be the most challenging part of his recovery, in some respects, because while he feels strong and is able to do many things, patience is needed to allow his mental condition to fully return and total rehabilitation to unfold.
LeAnn said she’s told Jon about some Steamboat events, such as Steamboat Springs City Council’s approval last week of a new Walgreens store at Pine Grove Road and U.S. Highway 40.
But she’s taking it slowly.
“I haven’t given him the computer yet, because I know once I do, I’ll have created a monster,” she said.
— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com
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