Date of Surgery: 4/8/2013
Update (6/2014): Barrett completed his 5th season with Breckenridge Ski Patrol and was integral to the 40% terrain expansion.
I grew up in Woodstock, Georgia and started skiing at a young age when my family would travel to Snowshoe West Virginia. Throughout college, a few friends and I would take many road trips to Colorado and ski the big mountains. These trips established an appreciation for skiing which eventually turned into a great passion. A friend of mine proposed a plan as he knew of a guy, who knew another guy that could find us jobs at Breckenridge Ski Resort as ticket scanners. That was the only motivation needed to leave Georgia and 2 weeks later my car was packed and I was on my way to Breckenridge, Colorado.
I live in Breckenridge and for the past 5 winters I have worked with the Breckenridge Ski Patrol. I have my avalanche blasters license and I’m a level I.V. patrolman through National Ski Patrol. As Patrollers, we get to be involved in family’s greatest ski vacation experiences, and unfortunately for some guests, their worst. It is in the midst of a patient’s worst moments of life that Patrollers band together and create a unified resource, trained and dedicated to providing first-class wilderness medicine in an extreme weather environment. Patrollers are given the task of seeking avalanches, to mitigate danger for the safety of thousands of strangers who rarely entertain the idea that their vacation could be ruined by the inherent risks of this alpine environment. We take this responsibility seriously, and I value my family of Patrollers for their loyalty, skill, bravery, compassion and camaraderie.
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
I underwent umbilical hernia surgery on April 8, 2013. My procedure took place at Peak One Surgery Center in Frisco, Colorado and was performed by Summit Surgical Consultants. I was able to return to my active lifestyle 6 weeks post-op.
"The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation subsidized the gaps in my company provided health insurance. Without their financial support, the out of pocket expense of my hernia surgery would have been catastrophic to my meager lifestyle. The foundation personally saw to it that every need was met during the complicated process of medical billing and expenses. They were able to anticipate and intercept most every interaction I had with the Hospital Billing Department. I was able to experience the care and professionalism that we as Breckenridge Ski Patrollers strive for every day. I am reminded daily how fortunate I am to have found my life's work as a Patroller and am grateful for the intervention of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for getting me back to the work I love."
- Barrett Johnson