I wanted to thank you for being part of a miracle by following Jamie's story.
"I decided to get out of the coffin and live"-Jamie "What was the coffin like?"-Fruit
"It was cold and dark and smelly, but an angel came to me, she said I could wake up and she could not so I needed to wake up and be alive"-"What did the angel look like?"-Jeanee
"She was like me, she had blond hair, really pretty, was a skier, and I never met her and she hit her head"-Jamie.
The first conversation Jamie had with us after waking up.
The story of Jamie's crash told by younger sister
On April 11th, 2015 Jamie fell doing a double flat (an off axis double backflip) in her second run of World Tour Finals in Whistler, Canada. She under rotated and landed in a pike position on the front of her skies then launched onto the right side of her body and was knocked out. Our coach, Dave, and I got to her within 30 seconds, along with some other people from on course. Ski patrol came immediately as well. Seeing Jamie facedown on the snow, in a pile of blood, unconscious and twitching, was the scariest thing I have ever had to experience. She got a life flight helicopter ride down to the Whistler clinic and then another life flight helicopter took her to Vancouver General Hospital. Dave and I got a ride immediately following the helicopter with a volunteer from Whistler.
She went through many exams. The results were that she had multiple spots of small bleeding in her brain, one being in her right brain stem causing her right side to be paralyzed, along with a bruised kidney but nothing else. They put a bolt in her brain to monitor her oxygen level and amount of swelling to make sure they did not need to do any surgeries to help the pressure. She needed slight oxygen increase. She remained unconscious with the bolt, a breathing tube, food tube, 8 IVs and a block in her neck for 8 days. The whole family (Mom Fruit, Dad Jeff, sister Amy 35, sister Jaja 31, sister Jilly 14) got to Vancouver within 24 hours. Our coach, Dave, remained with us for the first three days until he had to return to Utah. Whistler/Blackholm Resort and the Whislter Ski and Snowboard Festival took care of our lodging at a hotel 3 blocks from the hospital. We had a family member 24/7 with Jamie. She started to be more and more stable and would move the left side of her body some, so they took the bolt out. On sunday, the 19th of April, she was transferred in a medical aircraft back to Utah.
Every one besides Amy came back to Utah with us, our dad would stay for a week then go work for a week then come back for a week. Jaja being the only other one not to live in Utah full time decided to stay the whole time. Jamie was put in the Intermountain Medical Center Trauma ICU. She started to open her eyes on the 20th but was not aware of what was going on at all. Her Right leg began to move, sometimes on request. She had only 2 IVs left. They took out the A Line and Breathing tube. She was able to breath well and keep enough oxygen in her blood. On April 22 she was well enough to move to a normal hospital room, still with a nurse assistant or family member in the room all the time. She was getting more aware and nodding to questions we asked her. On the 22, she had her last two IVs out and got to move to rehab. She had severe Post Traumatic Amnesia and was unaware of her last name or what was going on at all. But whenever we would put on Taylor Swift she would sing every word to every song. At first her voice was quieter than the softest whisper but with time and more attempts at singing her voice grew stronger and stronger.
Jamie began rehab with all her spunk, determination, and humor. She followed her own path. She was given a walker which she shoved away and she never touched it again. Instead, she began walking with a gait belt- support of her balance by a band around her waist. Her right leg began by shuffling along. She progressed till she was able to dance, play soccer, and climb stairs. She started going up the stairs from the 1st floor to the 12 floor every day as part of her Physical Therapy. She was able to get all 12 flights down to 3 minutes and 20 seconds. She remembers her right arm not moving. Therapists put electric stimulators on her arm to wake it up. After only 1 time with the stims, with great effort she was able to slightly move her right arm on its own. With many exercises, being told to only use her right arm for mostly two weeks, she slowly began to have it function. She was talking but still working on getting her voice back, most of the time it was a really low whisper. She had to retrain her muscles to swallow. She passed her swallow exam so she could start to eat some real foods. Interestingly enough, thin liquids are the hardest for someone coming out of a coma to control, so she remained on thick liquids (the consistency of a thik smoothy) until after she got home. She worked on her cognitive comprehension a lot in Speech Therapy, Rosetta Stone (we advised for her) and interacting with friends and family. It was amazing to see her progress fday to day. Jamie is really social and from the moment she started asking for friends she had bunches of people come every day she was in the hospital.
On May 15th just 5 weeks from the crash (doctors had originally predicted 3 months from the crash for a release date) Jamie was released from the hospital. When leaving rehab every patient gets to pick the song they want to exit to. Jamie picked the song "Style" by Taylor Swift, that we had listened to at least once every day, to be her song. Most people just have their families take their bags and help them to the elevator, but not Jamie. We prepacked the car and when Style came on we all danced and sang and said goodby to every other patient and all the staff members lined up at the end next to the elevators to make a tunnel for Jamie to dance though and say goodbye to her. On Jamie's request once, we exited the hospital Janet and Jilly (two of our sisters) popped champagne and poured it over Jamie and me.
Once home it was definitely different for everyone. Jamie continued with outpatient rehab of Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy 5 days a week at the University of Utah Medical Outpatient Care Center in Sugar House, Salt Lake City. Here Jamie quickly regained to doing full athletic workouts in Physical Therapy, worked on driving and quickening her reflexes and eyes in Occupational Therapy, and got cleared to drink anything she wanted when ever she wanted along with continuing to push her intellectually to improve her cognition in Speech Therapy. At home we did all of our own sessions with Jamie as well. We have a close friend who is a fitness trainer, he would create great work outs for the whole family to partake in. Jamie started doing Luminosity, continued with fine motor right hand exercises, started doing algebra and world history again to help exercise her brain. Amy came on May 20th, the transformation from Jamie being almost dead in a coma to being at home, walking talking and dancing was overwhelming.
For most people, a crash like this is truly devastating. But not for Jamie, she kept her true personality through the whole thing smiling and laughing. Jamie has been exceeding everyone's expectations on her recovery. She will make a full recovery and return to sport. She now has a totally unique, one of a kind, inspiring story to bring along with her.
From the moment of injury, over the whole course of the injury, and still continuing we have a global #MoCrazyStrong social media campaign going on to share the love and support of and for Jamie. It was amazing how much support Jamie got over the injury and is continuing. We have posted some of the outreach of support under the #MoCrazyStrong campaign linked to the people and articles posted.