Former Steamboat fire marshal returns home after months of recovery on Front Range
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Coming home is something that lifelong Steamboat Springs resident Jay Muhme hasn’t been able to do in more than six months. When he finally got back to town last week, it was a moment that put a smile on the faces of his friends and family.
“It’s incredible,” Muhme’s wife, Anne Muhme, said. “It’s been a long six months.”
Jay hasn’t been home since last November when he went to Rose Medical Center for knee replacement surgery and was only expected to spend the night.
But early the next morning, Jay suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage which is similar to a stroke, and was immediately moved into the intensive care unit to be stabilized. He then was transferred to Swedish Medical Center, one of the top care facilities in the state for strokes.
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It was the first of many stops that Jay, a 1972 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School who spent 41 years either volunteering or working as a firefighter, including serving as Steamboat’s fire marshal, would make along his road to recovery. For the past six months, he was at care centers in Loveland, Denver and Littleton.
“He is in a wheelchair most of the time, but he is learning to walk with the walker with assistance, and he is learning to do more things at home,” Anne said. “He has to relearn everything. His speech is getting better, but he has to relearn how to do it. It’s just taking time.”
Savannah Bongiorno, Jay’s daughter, is also happy her dad is home.
“He is doing great,” Bongiorno said Wednesday. “He has definitely made huge leaps and bounds, but he is still not walking on his own, and speech is still an issue … But he is working very hard at it. We are super thankful.”
The Muhmes are hoping to stay in the Steamboat area, where Jay is closer to family, but Anne said it’s still up in the air. She said the family plans to make a go of it here, but if Jay isn’t progressing, they may end up going back to Craig Hospital in Denver for outpatient therapy.
“If there is any person who is going to kick this, it is him. I have no doubt about that,” Anne said. “He has got the desire and drive. I believe he will get back. I don’t know if he will be back hunting, hiking, fishing and doing taekwondo as much as he was doing, but we will see.”
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