Army combat medic was on scene when teen fell from Hotel Colorado balcony | AspenTimes.com

Army combat medic was on scene when teen fell from Hotel Colorado balcony

Sallee Ann Ruibal
Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.

Brandon Murphy had just married his wife, Dana, at the Hotel Colorado on Saturday. The Denver natives had decided to stay in Glenwood Springs for a couple days for a "mini honeymoon."

When they checked out of their penthouse Tuesday morning, the elevator stopped one level below on the fourth floor. A woman got on who was hyperventilating and clearly distressed.

The couple looked down at their feet, not wanting to intrude on someone's personal business. But the woman started saying "oh my God," over and over. The couple then asked if everything was OK.

Her 16-year-old daughter had fallen from the balcony.

As of Thursday, according to a post from the girl's mother on Montrose Message Board Facebook group, the teen was in a coma in a Denver hospital. The girl suffered extensive broken bones and other injuries, and had undergone surgery that stopped her internal bleeding.

The mother's post said that the initial outlook was grave.

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"Doctors say her chances of survival have significantly increased, but she's not out of the woods yet," wrote the mother, who said in an earlier post they were in Glenwood for a fall color getaway.

"Please keep her in your prayers," the post said. "Faith and the power of prayer can and do move mountains."

Murphy was an Army combat medic for 10 years.

"I was actually scared to death," Murphy said in an interview Thursday.

But he sprung into action. He ran out of the hotel to the girl. Murphy said she had fallen from the fourth-floor balcony that faces Sixth Street. She was face-down on the sidewalk down below.

Murphy was amazed the girl was still breathing. He said she was likely going through agonal respiration, almost like her body was on auto-pilot.

"I ran my hand softly down her back looking for any spinal injury and amazingly didn't feel anything," Murph said.

When he checked her pupils, however, he said their differing size was a sign of bad head trauma.

While Murphy was evaluating the girl, his wife was holding the mother. He said a manager of the hotel was out there trying to comfort the mother as well, along with bystanders who had gathered around.

"I heard the ambulance coming, and I just grabbed the girl's hand," Murphy said. "I told her, 'stay with us, keep fighting.' I was just hoping that she could somehow sense that."

Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said the girl was then transferred to a hospital in Denver.

Murphy praised the paramedics in Glenwood, saying, "I truly believe she got the best help she could get."

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