Date of Surgery: 6/7/2017
Update (6/2018): Ian returned to ski patrolling last winter.
I live in Norwood, Colorado. I started skiing at the age of 3, racing at 10, coaching racing at 20, then ski patrolling at 29.
I’ve always wanted to make a living while being outdoors. I’ve been skiing my whole life. When my local ski area, Telluride Ski Resort, began hiring ski patrollers for their expansion in 2000, I jumped at the chance to have a stable job in the winter. I quickly realized that ski patrolling is the best job in the world. After 18 years, I am the manager of the Telluride Ski Patrol, and have no plans to stop.
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
Through the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, I had a sub-talar fusion surgery. Six months after the procedure I was back on skis. I am currently skiing with no restrictions.
"While hiking the Grand Gulch from the San Juan river, I suffered a devastating heel fracture. Suddenly, normal walking was in doubt. Working on skis seemed unlikely to happen. Surgery to patch the bone together left me with a semi-functional foot and a pile of bills. Almost a year after my injury, I had used all of the physical therapy sessions my insurance would cover, and was still not even close to getting my foot back in a ski boot. Then my physical therapist told me to check out the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. They helped me through the application process, took on my case, and expedited my appointments at The Steadman Clinic. Six months after that first visit, I was getting fit for new ski boots. A month later I was back to the best job in the world, Ski Patrolling! The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation helped me to get the treatment I needed way faster than I would have done on my own, and continued to help me until I knew I was done."
- Ian Kirkwood