Grateful patient gives thanks to Aspen Valley Hospital |

Grateful patient gives thanks to Aspen Valley Hospital

Michelle Bryan, shown with her son, Jonas, and husband, Jason Kohout

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Written By Deborah Breen, President & CEO
Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation

It truly is the season of giving thanks. I am thankful for many things, including all of the friends and supporters of Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation. It is because of our community’s collective generosity that patients in our community are able to access quality, life-saving care at Aspen Valley Hospital. We have so many patients who are grateful for care, and to kick off this season of giving and giving thanks I am honored to share one family’s

story of hope.


Last May, I was spending an afternoon with my horse Sheldon at the arena in Basalt. I bridled him up, took a few laps, then jumped off him as I have done a hundred times before. This time was different. The second my feet hit the ground I felt a strange headache and lost vision in my right eye. Unknowingly, I had dislodged a blood clot in my brain. I was a fit, healthy 48-year old, so  I never suspected stroke. Since I could walk and talk just fine, I drove myself to Aspen Valley Hospital.

From the second I walked through the doors of the Hospital, the care was astounding. The greeter recognized something was wrong and offered me a wheelchair and took me directly to the Emergency Department. The ED team identified it as stroke right away and collaborated with a neurointerventional surgeon on the telemedicine monitor to confirm stroke and order tPA, a life-saving clot-dissolving medication. Once stabilized, I was on a Flight for Life headed to Swedish Medical Center in Denver – arriving 1.5 hours after entering AVH’s doors, which was very fortunate because with stroke, time is everything.

I am forever grateful to AVH for their quick thinking. The greeter at the door, the ED team, and the premier tele-neurologist all worked seamlessly as a team to deliver the highest quality of care possible. There’s not one single step in the process that could have gone better. Thanks to AVH, I am here and I’m doing great! I hope to be back riding Sheldon again soon.

If you don’t think your support matters, just ask Michelle and her family. It is because of people like Michelle who truly value Aspen Valley Hospital that I am inspired every day.


Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation is participating in Colorado Gives Day on December 5.



If you are a grateful patient we would love for you to share your story. Please give us a call at 970.544.1302 and we would be happy to talk with you over the phone or meet you in person.

And if you would like to make a gift, visit our website at and click on “Make a Donation” to enter your credit card, or mail your check to:

Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation
0401 Castle Creek Road
Aspen, CO, 81611


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