Letter: The healing power of community
You are only as strong as the community that supports you. On Tuesday, July 20, our family found ourselves in a nightmare. We watched a trained medical flight crew load our 29-day-old baby onto a plane destined for Children’s Hospital in Denver as a result of a freak accident.
It felt like news of this accident flew across town, and the energy created by this community’s love, support, prayers and thoughts radiated throughout the intensive care unit where we found ourselves. With every word of support, good news entered the room from one doctor after another. The energy culminated when the neurologist provided her conclusions of the various scans to us. She used the words, “pleasantly surprised about the findings.” The results were, “better than expected.” Ethel was OK.
We are incredibly thankful to all of our many caregivers. There are too many to name from the emergency room staff in Steamboat Springs, the ground and flight crews to get us to Children’s, the myriad specialists and nurses who stabilized Ethel quickly, troubleshot challenges, silenced alarms on monitors, deliberated plans of care, answered our questions and listened to our ideas, provided mental health moments, gave us honest updates, laid out the many paths that our future will take, and mostly, for believing in Ethel when she gave signs of being ready to be on her own.
We are also grateful for the hundreds of people that sent text messages, wrote emails, sent flowers, cards, stuffed animals, held prayer services and called. Ben and I read every one of your prayers and well wishes to Ethel as she laid in her crib breathing via a ventilator, connected to devices that monitored her brain activity, and being fed through a tube.
I wish our experience on no other family, but the reality is, accidents happen, and when they do, this community is there to support. It certainly did for us and for that we are ever so grateful. Thank you.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Helen, Ben, Bennie and Ethel Beall
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: