Steamboat woman recovering after series of strokes, heart attack
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In August, longtime Steamboat Springs resident Sheila Curry was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction after suffering a heart attack and a series of strokes in her downtown home.
She spent nine days fighting for her life in the intensive care unit.
“She is strong, and she is a fighter,” Eric Curry, her husband of 17 years, said Thursday by phone from Aurora’s Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital. “She has got such a positive attitude with life, in general, and if anyone can pull it off, it’s damn sure her.”
What: Fundraiser for Sheila Curry
When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19
Where: Schmiggity’s, 821 Lincoln Ave.
Cost: $40 suggested donation includes two wine or beer drinks
Through it all, Eric said, Sheila has been surrounded by the love of family and friends and has drawn from the support of the community she has called home since 1990.
“From the bottom of our hearts, from the whole family, we thank everybody for the cards, the gifts, the flowers, the prayers and the support that our little town of Steamboat has given,” Eric said.
A fundraising event to help with medical costs is at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at Schmiggity’s featuring Loose Change, All About Me, the Brian Smith Band and Third Rail Rebel. In addition to the music, there will be food, door prizes and an auction. A suggested $40 donation will be accepted at the door. Friends also have set up a GoFundMe page.
On Aug. 14, doctors think Sheila suffered a ministroke followed by a heart attack and then a more severe stroke.
The couple had gone out for Mexican food the night before, and when they returned home, Sheila didn’t feel well. The couple chalked it up to spicy food.
The next morning, Sheila went to work at Creekside Cafe but returned home at about 8 a.m. when she wasn’t feeling well. Just after 4 p.m., the couple’s youngest daughter, Brittani Beckwith, came home and found her mother on the couch, unable to talk.
She called her stepdad, Eric, who rushed home from work.
Forty-five minutes later, Sheila was on a flight to Grand Junction, where she spent nine days in the ICU. She then was transferred to the neurology department, where she would spend two weeks.
She returned home at the end of August, when she started rehabilitation at Casey’s Pond Senior Living, where she worked to regain her strength and basic functions.
Just this week, she headed to Spalding in Aurora, where she expects to spend the next few weeks working with therapists.
“She still has a feeding tube in and is paralyzed on her right side. She has swallow issues, little bit of speech impediment still,” Eric said. “But she is making huge progress day to day.”
Eric thanked the doctors at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, the flight crew that got her to St. Mary’s, the staff at St. Mary’s, and the nurses and doctors who have seen Sheila at Casey’s Pond.
When Sheila finishes rehabilitation at Spalding, Eric said she will be home but the therapy work will not be over.
“She’s a firecracker,” Eric said. “Our first date lasted six months.”
Eric said his wife loves getting outside, Steamboat and her family, which includes daughter Amanda Yarosz, 30, and her daughter, Riley; son Zach Beckwith, 28, and his daughter, Taelynn; and daughter Brittani Beckwith, 24, and her daughter, Alyvia; and stepson Keith and his 3-month-old son, Landen.
Eric said her family has been by her side throughout the ordeal.
“I’m optimistic that she is going to make a positive recovery. There are going to be setbacks and some complications coming along with a few other things,” Eric said. “That’s just reality.
“It’s pretty hardcore when it’s your spouse. I was her lover; now I’m her caregiver.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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