Charlie Tarver out of ICU, upgraded to fair | AspenTimes.com

Charlie Tarver out of ICU, upgraded to fair

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Charlie Tarver’s condition at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction was upgraded to fair on Tuesday, and he was moved from the intensive-care unit to the neuro-trauma unit.

The Aspen business owner and former mayoral candidate is doing “noticeably better” after a mountain biking accident that left him with a serious brain injury, said a hospital spokesman.

According to one of his employees at the Hub of Aspen bike shop, Tarver has motioned for his glasses and has tried to talk in a low, whispery voice since he was taken off the respirator on Monday.

“He has been trying to form words, and he started trying as soon as they took the respirator out,” said store clerk Bob Penland. “He’s definitely moving around a whole lot – which is one of the reasons they moved him out of intensive care and into some place where he can be more active.”

Penland said Tarver can tell the difference between family members and hospital staff, and “seems to perk up and get excited” when he recognizes someone. Penland and the Hub of Aspen staff are receiving daily updates on their boss’s condition from Tarver’s wife, Kim.

Hospital spokesman Jeff Kirtland said Tarver is now conscious more frequently, keeping his eyes open and trying to communicate with those around him.

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Tarver was riding a bike in a speed demonstration for the U.S. Speed Skiing National Championships at Snowmass Ski Area when he crashed on Feb. 26. He was unconscious for several days after the accident, diagnosed with a brain trauma injury, as well as a broken rib, a partially collapsed lung and a broken clavicle.

Penland said for more information about sending Tarver cards or flowers, contact information is available at the Hub of Aspen.