North Carolina man thankful after surviving heart attack at Steamboat Ski Area |

North Carolina man thankful after surviving heart attack at Steamboat Ski Area

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A North Carolina man is recovering and says he is thankful for the care he received after having a heart attack at Steamboat Ski Area.

Bruce Stovall Jr., 71, has visited Steamboat about a dozen times over the past 15 years and was skiing Feb. 4 while his wife, Julia, was visiting friends in Denver.

"I apparently fell in a location where skiers do not normally fall, which the ski patrol noticed and immediately went to my aid," Stovall wrote in an email.

A doctor was in the area and performed CPR. Stovall was taken to Rendezvous Lodge, and an automated external defibrillator successfully restarted his heart after delivering a third shock.

"The ski patrol used the emergency feature of my iPhone to contact my wife, who was visiting friends in Denver when I had my attack," Stovall said.

Stovall was taken to UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center and then flown to UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland for more advanced care.

Recommended Stories For You

Stovall said he has no memories from the afternoon of Feb. 4, other than a moment when he was being loaded onto a plane.

"I felt that I just had won the lottery when I was told the whole story," said Stovall, a retired United States Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel.

In addition to the medical care providers, Stovall is grateful for his friends in Denver, who helped his wife through the ordeal.

On Feb. 6, Stovall had a defibrillator installed in his chest, and he returned home to North Carolina on Sunday.

"I can’t say enough good things about the wonderful support we have received from everyone at Steamboat, the Medical Center of the Rockies and the Embassy Suites in Loveland," Stovall said. "We are looking forward to our next trip to Steamboat."

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.