Date of Surgery: 10/13/2015
Update (8/2017): Patty has made a full career return.
When I was in college, I got a part-time job working for the college Outdoors Program. This job introduced me to skiing, climbing, and rafting. It changed my life. I felt like I finally found my people, folks who loved to play hard in the out of doors. Many of these people were accomplished mountaineers, climbers, boaters, and ski patrollers. They really inspired me. I then met a women who was the Snow Ranger for Mt. Ashland ski area. I remember being in awe and thinking she had an amazing job. Being a biology major, it became obvious to explore snow science and thus Ski Patrol. After seven winters of Ski Patrolling, my dream came true and they offered me an Avalanche Forecasting position. While I was forecasting, I was also developing the Mountain Education Department for Stevens Pass. Fifteen seasons later, I stepped down from forecasting and turned to teaching/guiding avalanche classes and training patrollers in snow safety. I still do avalanche control for both Stevens Pass Ski Area as well as the Department of Transportation. During the summer, I have continued the passion for the out of doors by becoming a naturalist guide. I have been blessed to work in Alaska for over twenty summer seasons.
The main pivotal point for me was to become an Avalanche Forecaster. There is a huge responsibility to understand and know snow. I felt my job inspired me to learn all I could. In 1996, I started attending the International Snow Science Workshops, (ISSW), and was truly inspired. In 2004, I presented a paper on the ‘Orographic Effects on Wind at Steven Pass” at the Jackson Hole ISSW. To qualify to present at an ISSW, it must be an original study. The research and data collection for my study took four seasons to accomplish. I was nervous, because over 700 of my peers where in the audience. Much to my wonderful surprise, my paper was well received. At the 2008 ISSW, Squaw Valley, I received an award honoring me as a DIVA in the Avalanche Community. This award is for women who have made contributions to the field of Snow Science and Avalanches. In the future, I would love to continue my research on at the comparison of Rutch Block scores with explosive tests. I also want to continue to develop the Mountain Education Program so that it reaches a quality and sustainable level.
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
Total Knee Replacement. Surgery went well, had some complications with scar tissue though. Through extended physical therapy, I was able to forego another surgery to clean up the scar tissue. I am now a year out, and my knee feels great. Exciting to get my life back from so much knee trauma.
"For years, I experienced the decline of my right knee. Started doing less of the things I love, because of pain. After previous knee surgeries, it was inevitable that I needed a replacement. I had a lot of fear surrounding the surgery, and then found out about the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. Now I am saying the classic, “that I wished I had got it done sooner”. I am so happy and pleased to say that my knee feels great. I have returned to work in full capacity, and am exceptionally excited about winter this year. Got my life back!"
- Patricia Morrison