Date of Surgery: 4/26/2013
Update (12/2013): Bradford has returned to patrol at Squaw Valley Ski Resort.
Bradford currently lives in Lake Tahoe and has been a professional ski patroller for 8 years at Squaw Valley Ski Resort. Originally from Rhode Island, Bradford found is passion in the wild places after completing a mountaineering , wilderness first responder, and emergency medical technician course at the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander Wyoming. Bradford’s first job in the ski industry was at a small resort in New Hampshire. He desired bigger and steeper mountains and moved to the west shortly after.
Bradford started in the snowmaking department at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. Once he moved in 2006 to Tahoe, he started as a night ski patroller at Squaw Valley Ski Resort. The following winter, he was moved to the daytime patrol staff. Currently, Bradford is an important member of the avalanche mitigation team and was voted “Best Ski Patroller” by the local paper Sierra Sun.
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
In February 2013, Bradford injured his knee on a day off. Bradford received an MRI that showed a lateral and medial meniscus tear and full thickness tear of femoral origin of his ACL. Bradford underwent a left knee procedure at the Steadman Clinic on April 26, 2013. Bradford has attended physical therapy for about 6 months and plans to return to Squaw’s patrol staff this winter.
"I recently tore the ACL and meniscus in my left knee while skiing on my day off. After the accident, my patrol coworkers passed around a helmet during the morning meeting seeking donations to help pay for my surgery. Needless to say, the fund was quite a few dollars short of the going rate for knee surgery. Several days later, while still recovering from the initial injury, the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation came up in conversation with some volunteer patrollers. I quickly located the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation website and requested application materials. Within a few hours I had the application packet emailed to me and I raced to fill it out. Shortly after, I was contacted by the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation and told they would like to fund my knee surgery and all other rehabilitative aspects of this process. I was told I would receive funding on a Tuesday, was flown to Vail, C.O. on Thursday and had my surgery that Friday. It was really astonishing how fast the whole process went, start to finish in under a week. I had my surgery at the Steadman Clinic in Vail Colorado. Under the guidance of a Steadman team I opted to graft a portion of my own patellar ligament as my new ACL and chose to save as much of my damaged meniscus as possible and suture the multiple pieces back together. Since the surgery I have been able to attend physical therapy on almost a daily basis, which has contributed immensely to the fast and strong recovery of my reconstructed knee. Without the funding and support of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation my career as a professional ski patroller would have come to a very abrupt end. Thanks to their help I will be back on my skis this winter for another season."
- Bradford LaRiviere