In previous coverage on our blog, we reported that Kevin Pearce, an Olympic snowboarding shoe-in, sustained a traumatic brain injury after hitting his head on the hard icy side of a frozen halfpipe while training for an Olympics tryout in Mammoth Lakes at the end of December 2009. Kevin has since regained consciousness and his ability to walk and communicate.
More recently, a Facebook update by Kevin’s family reported that the young snowboarding great has been moved to a hospital in Colorado. Craig Hospital outside of Denver, Colorado, is regarded as a ‘leading rehabilitation center for spinal-cord or traumatic brain injuries,’ the update said.
Alan Weintraub, medical director of Craig Hospital’s traumatic brain injury program, said, ‘Craig Hospital’s specialized T.B.I. treatment program has begun a comprehensive evaluation of Kevin’s neurological injury and his rehabilitation needs. Our goal is to assist Kevin and his family through this challenging journey and help them reach their fullest potential in every phase of recovery,’ according to a New York Times article.
Weintraub went on to acknowledge the skill and work of Pearce’s team of doctors at the University of Utah Hospital where Pearce was taken immediately following his accident. Pearce’s doctor at the U of U Hospital, Dr. Holly Ledyard, said in the Facebook update, ‘Kevin has made tremendous progress since being admitted to University of Utah Hospital on December 31. He is able to walk and do many daily activities with some assistance. I asked him how he felt about being discharged from the hospital and he said, ‘˜Excited! I’m ready to keep on going!’ His positive attitude and determination will certainly serve him well as he moves on to the next phase of his rehabilitation.’
Support, prayers, and encouraging messages continue to amass on the ‘Well Wishes to our Friend Kevin Pearce’ Facebook page from the more than 37,000 fans gathered there to rally for Pearce’s full recovery. The family has made repeated posts reporting that Pearce loves hearing the supportive comments from fans.
A post by Pearce’s brother Adam on February 6, 2010 reads: ‘Kev is settling into Craig really well. The new Doctors are very impressed with his progress. Read him more of the posts which he really enjoyed.’ The most recent post, made on February 9, 2010, reads: ‘2:16pm: It snowed in Denver and we were able to get Kev outside in a wheelchair so he could throw a snowball at his mom. A fun moment for the family.’ The mountain of fan comments on the Facebook page displays encouraging comments posted at least once every 15 minutes.
We at Brain and Spinal Cord continue to wish Kevin Pearce the swiftest and fullest recovery possible. We will continue to provide updates on Kevin’s progress as information becomes available. Good luck, Kevin!
Associated Press. (February 4, 2010) ‘Snowboarder Pearce to see brain injury specialist.’ Retrieved on February 10, 2010 from the Vancouver Now Web site:http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/snowboarding/story/2010/02/04/spo-pearce-tran…
Branch, John. (February 4, 2010) ‘Pearce Moves to Brain Rehab Hospital in Colorado.’ Retrieved on February 10, 2010 from the New York Times Web site:http://vancouver2010.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/pearce-moves-to-brain-…
ESPN Snowboarding. (February 4, 2010) ‘Kevin Pearce injury update.’ Retrieved on February 10, 2010 from the ESPN Web site:http://espn.go.com/action/snowboarding/blog/_/post/4886960
Pearce Family. (February 4-9, 2010) ‘Official Update ‘“ February 4, 2010’ and wall posts. Retrieved on February 10, 2010 from the Facebook Web sites:http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=484001795240&id=232366118918&re… andhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Well-Wishes-to-our-Frend-Kevin-Pearce/2323…