Dear Editor:Hello, my name is Jim Hageland; I have been an Aspen local for 10 years.I had a devastating accident. I was critical for three days, broke my pelvis, had multiple fractures on my hip socket, head injuries, broke my back and have a large laceration to my face. I had to be air ambulanced to the trauma center in Miami, which cost me $12,350. It cost $10,445 per day at an ICU hospital; these bills depleted all our savings.I then spent two and a half weeks at the trauma center hospital while the surgeons waited for me to stabilize so they could operate on me to try and put Humpty Dumpty together again! They were not sure if I could ever walk again because my pelvis break was such a rare and severe injury.I returned home on July 4 thankful to be alive. I am a temporary paraplegic – I can eat, shave, clean my teeth and help my partner transfer me from the bed to the wheelchair or couch. The fire department volunteers (who are angels) come and carry me down the stairs from my top floor apartment so I can attend doctor appointments.We have had no income since June 16, and the hospital bills wiped us out financially. We are not expecting any insurance money from the wreck. Disability benefit said they would give us a decision on Nov. 4.I had contacted 100 charities to help us get through this difficult time in our lives, but I feel I have been chasing my tail with no help from a soul. Bonnie from LIFT-UP has been the only charity that has helped us, and Donor Direct with a loan.I thank God I’m alive and have someone to take care of me. I just need to find someone to help me get through this financially – a collection, a jar, a voucher, a silent auction gift for my benefit. I hope to organize a benefit around Thanksgiving, to help me with my hospital bills – I will advertise in the paper.It will take three months on my back to heal my pelvis, then another three months to try and walk again. We have worked hard all of our lives and never asked for a thing – now we are in a situation where we need help. I have contacted Valley Info Assistance, Dr. Savage, for helping collaborate efforts.If anyone can donate small or largely I would appreciate it, just to get me through, until I can get back on my feet and go back to work.If you can’t, please learn by my mistake and hardship: Please do not hire a mo-ped on vacation, and always, always buy travel insurance when you go on a trip.Thank you for listening, and God bless. Bank statements, hospital bills, proof of hardship on request.Jim Hageland and Vikkii RainbowAspen
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“The happy young people who attended were unanimous in voting the fireman’s ball a fitting finale for Thanksgiving, 1897.” A look at Thanksgiving Day in Aspen in 1897.