Injured snowboarder remains in critical condition in Denver |

Injured snowboarder remains in critical condition in Denver

Janet Urquhart

A Minnesota youth who was seriously injured March 3 while snowboarding at Snowmass remains in critical condition at a Denver hospital, where physicians say his recovery will be slow.Colin Mattila crashed in the Snowmass terrain park and was airlifted from Aspen Valley Hospital to Denver Health Medical Center the same day, according to his mother, Judy Mattila.”He’s doing better,” she said Tuesday from Denver. Colin, 14, remains in the intensive care unit at Denver Health after suffering injuries that doctors have said are the equivalent of what an individual would suffer in a 210-foot fall, according to Judy Mattila. A hospital spokesperson said the boy’s condition was critical as of Tuesday afternoon.Colin broke his right leg, his right arm and all his ribs, his mother said. In addition, he suffered a heart injury – a torn aorta. To repair his heart, surgeons had to clamp off the blood supply to his left leg and have since had to remove muscle tissue from that leg, she said.He was unconscious when the ski patrol arrived on the scene at Snowmass and has remained in a drug-induced coma, from which he is beginning to emerge, Judy Mattila said.Doctors have not said how long Colin will have to remain in Denver, she added. “It’s going to be a long recovery, they said.”Colin and his family, including his father and siblings, came to Snowmass to snowboard; Judy Mattila flew from Minnesota to Denver after the accident. According to the Aspen Skiing Co., Colin crashed after launching off the second jump on Velvet Falls, to the skiers’ left of the Snowmass halfpipe and near the Village Express chairlift.He was not wearing a helmet, but since he landed on his face, doctors have suggested a helmet would not have helped much, his mother said.Since the accident was first reported, a number of Colin’s friends at Dassel-Cokato Middle School in Minnesota have posted get-well wishes for their classmate on The Aspen Times website. Colin is an eighth-grader at the school.”Please wish him good luck on his recovery and keep him in your prayers,” wrote classmate Danielle Boerboom. “He needs everyone’s help on this one. We love you and are thinking about you, Colin!””We love you, Colin. Get well soon. You’re in our prayers,” wrote a friend identified only as T.J.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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