Colorado is known for its environment and the alpine sports that people practice there during the snowy season. Many people go to Colorado just to go skiing or snowboarding, two sports that can become deadly in a matter of seconds. According to studies, brain injury is a major concern for those that participate in these activities. However, the prevalence of helmet usage has skyrocketed, saving some people from sustaining traumatic damage to their brains.
One such accident occurred in March 2010. A young man and his friend were at Arapahoe Basin, ready to ski down the back bowl. The young man had not worn a helmet during hundreds of skiing sessions, but that day, his friend suggested that they get some. They did and the timing couldn’t have been better. The young man began skiing and found himself trying to avoid a rock. His ski hit the edge and it sent him flying into the air. He came crashing down on the rock.
His friend returned to him, discovering that he was unconscious and lying in a pool of blood under his face. A helicopter airlifted the injured man to St. Anthony Hospital, where surgeons spent 10 hours reconstructing his face. Nearly four dozen screws and more than a dozen plates were used during his facial reconstruction surgery.
The accident had fractured parts of his spine and his right hip. He punctured his lung and ruptured his spleen. As inferred by the surgery, his face sustained heavy damage. Bones were crushed in his nose, the roof of his mouth, two jaw bones and both of his eye sockets. He left the hospital less than three weeks later and, despite a concussion, doctors reported no permanent brain damage. The helmet he wore had a major crack in it and many believe that the helmet saved him from sustaining even more injuries.
Source: KUNC, “Put A Lid On It: Helmet Use Reducing Brain Injuries On The Slopes,” Rabah Kamal, Feb. 11, 2013