Date of Surgery: 3/29/2012
Update (8/2012): Luke is continuing to train extremely hard for his return next winter.
Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, I had no experiences with skiing and/or mountaineering. I spent the bulk of my youth playing hockey, baseball, soccer and the assorted varieties of athletica Americana. During high school, I developed a love for mountain biking, backpacking and the greater outdoors. My shortsighted notion of Colorado as a strictly biking state eventually forced the discovery of the wonderful world of winter sports. At age 19, I learned to snowboard. At age 20, I discovered skiing and my world has never been the same. Five years later, I’m absolutely in love with the beauty of making turns down the incredible variety that the alpine world has to offer. This love brought me to Breckenridge, Colorado and eventually developed into a position with the Breckenridge Ski Patrol.
I attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado and graduated in 2009 with a degree in Environmental Science and Biology. The content of my academics pushed me to take on a position which would utilize my education. Eventually, I realized that the career world needed to coincide with my new found passion for skiing. After obtaining my EMT certification, I took on a position with the Ski Patrol. The dynamic combination of snow science and first aid became the ideal conduit for my education in environmental science and biology. Though a novice patroller, I hope to develop my skills and eventually become an individual who can be relied upon in any situation. Down the road, I desire to elevate my position to that of our Avalanche Technicians.
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
On March 29, 2012, I had reconstructive surgery on my right knee after sustaining a grade 3 tear in both my ACL and MCL while freeskiing outside of work. The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado did a right knee ACL reconstruction BTB autograft, MCL repair with semi-T augmentation, and patella chondroplasty. Basically, they used my hamstring to become my new MCL and they used part of my PCL and patella to become my new ACL. They also cleaned a little arthritis in my joint. The day after surgery, I began an intensive physical therapy program which continued throughout the summer and fall. The focus has been to regain full extension, flexion while also returning my surrounding muscle groups to their former glory.
"Simply put, The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation saved my career. By hurting myself outside of work, I, in turn, took on all of the liabilities of injury. I could not work, collect compensations, or even pay the costly prices of surgery. I began to prepare myself for a career change and a potential move away from my mountain life. As soon as I contacted the foundation, the ball began to roll in a very positive direction. I received the highest quality of surgical care, physical therapy and continued check-ups - all at NO COST. I cannot emphasize enough how much the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has done for me. Instead of disaster, I encountered a blessing and I'll never forget how I have been given a second chance to follow my dreams."
- Luke Ochs