Not that I’m wishing for another (broken tibia, 2014) serious accident on the slopes, but if it did happen to me I’d like there to be an ER doctor just happening to ski right by at the same time.
Which is exactly what happened to 16-year-old Charlie Voysey. He severed two arteries in his arm after an accident where he collided with a snowboarder at Beaver Creek, CO and seconds later Dr. Heston LaMar of North Carolina, an emergency room doctor, happened to ski by. LaMar quickly administered first aid before the teen was rushed into surgery; the edge of his ski had cut two arteries, tendons, and nerves in his forearm.
On one of their first runs of the family vacation, Charlie says he collided with a snowboarder. During his fall, Charlie thinks the sharp edge of his ski cut his arm.
At first, he didn’t think it was too bad. “I thought I had just got a small cut or wasn’t hurt at all,” Charlie told 9NEWS.
His dad David was skiing behind him and says he saw Charlie ski over a ridge. By the time he caught up, he says he knew something was wrong. David said he also didn’t immediately know just how bad the injury was, but he saw a lot of blood so knew they had to get Charlie medical attention fast.
“I can hear it to this day. He skied by and he said ‘I’m an ER doctor can I help?’” David explained.
Dr. Heston LaMar, an emergency room doctor who works at Wake Forest in North Carolina also happened to be at Beaver Creek that day and came across the crash.
“He whipped off his backpack and emptied it out. He had scissors, those funky, weird scissors that they use, and cut stuff open. And he pulled out gauze. He had it all wrapped up within a couple of minutes,” David said. He said he has been carrying the backpack with medical supplies around for years, just in case.
Upon cutting his glove off, every heartbeat shot blood into the air and that is when they knew Charlie had likely cut an artery. In total, Charlie cut two arteries, all of the tendons and all of the nerves in his forearm.
Charlie was taken off the mountain by ski patrol and rushed to Vail Health Hospital where he underwent five hours of surgery. The surgeon was able to save Charlie’s hand and he’s now working to regain both movement and feeling in that arm.