Park City, UT Freeskier Mikayla Willis in ICU After Crash During Freeride World Qualifier

SnowBrains | CrashCrash
Park City, UT skier Mikayla Willis was critically injured during a Freeride World Qualifier event in Big Sky, MT last week, and was taken via emergency helicopter to an ICU in Billings, Montana. | Photo courtesy of GoFundMe

Mikayla Willis took a terrible crash at the Freeride World Qualifier in Big Sky, Montana on Wednesday and was taken by ambulance and two Life Flight helicopters to an ICU in Billings, Montana, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Eric Praetorius, her ski coach,  told KPCW that “she has very severe injuries.”

According to a GoFundMe post, the 17-year-old freeskier’s injuries include a shattered skull, broken nose, broken vertebrae, fractured hips, and lacerations on her face. The GoFundMe post reads in full:

“Mikayla Willis was critically injured in a tragic ski accident in Montana on March 23, 2022. She was competing in the FreeRide World Tour Qualifiers three star in Big Sky. She took 1st place the day before in the qualifiers. She was taken by ambulance and 2 Life Flights to a hospital in Billings.  Her injuries are severe: shattered skull, broken nose, broken L2 back, fractured hips and lacerations on her face. She has already had one surgery and is expected to be in the ICU for several weeks. The hospital where Mikayla is currently is “out of network” under the family’s insurance policy. Any help that we can give them will be greatly appreciated.”

 

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“She has already had one surgery and is expected to be in the ICU for several weeks,” according to the GoFundMe post set up to raise funds to cover Willis’s medical bills. “The hospital where Mikayla is currently is ‘out of network’ under the family’s insurance policy. Any help that we can give them will be greatly appreciated.”

The post has since been updated with positive news: “Mikayla is conscious, talking and off of life support. She is still in the ICU and is being watched. The family thanks everyone for their generosity.”

As of last Thursday, the entire $75,000 GoFundMe goal had been reached, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Willis is ranked No. 32 in the Americas Region of the FWQ.


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One thought on “Park City, UT Freeskier Mikayla Willis in ICU After Crash During Freeride World Qualifier

  1. I was 18 when the crash happened – not 17. It was an adult competition in Big Sky, Montana. Also Eric isn’t my coach – he’s just some random dude I don’t really know. An ambulance took me to the hospital in Big Sky. From there I was life flighted to Bozeman where I got the full body CT scans. Frand two life flights to St. Vincent hospital in Billings, Montana. Thats where they performed emergency surgery on my skull and split nose. I dislocated my shoulder, punctured my lung, shattered my skull and split my nose in the crash. Dr. Goodman performed the sugery on my skull. I woke up with Titanuim mesh and 30 screws holding my skull together I was stoked and grateful. The experience was indescribable…
    Ironically, I came into the comp with a hard cast on my wrist already; as well as a Broken off L2 in my back with a fractured hip from a lil crash I took a week before in competition at Grand Targhee, WY. I didnt get it checked out and drove myself to Big Sky. Thats why they call my Manic Snowchild. Oops. Every time I get injured I learn to let go of everything – all the assumptions and judgments we make about things. Search for the questions, not the answers. This world revolves around one simple concept – LIVE OUT OF LOVE, NOT FEAR. 
    Thank you,
    Mikayla Willis

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