Amber's Medical Expenses

$16,580 of $16,500 goal

Raised by 303 people in 39 months
Alexandra Truzzi
on behalf of Amber Kohnhorst
 ROCHESTER, MN
Out for a short hike on the afternoon of Friday May 20, Amber fell nearly 100ft onto an unforgiving rock ledge. She fractured her back in three places, crushed her pelvis, broke her nose, and sustained multiple other injuries. After lying in the open for more than 24 hours without food, water, or cell service she was rescued from a cliff Saturday night and evacuated to Intermountain Healthcare in St George, UT. 

This life-changing accident occurred during a volunteer trip to the Best Friends Animal Society in Utah.  Since childhood,  animals and the outdoors have played a vital role in Amber's life. As a nurse in the Cardiovascular Surgical ICU at the Mayo Clinic, Amber's dedication to caring for others is apparent to anyone who meets her. This trip gave her the ability to  combine these passions and give back to the animals that she cares so much about.

With such significant injuries, it is unclear when she will be able to return to her loving family in the Midwest to heal and rehab. Certainly, it will be many months before she can return to work. All donations received will be used for medical,  travel, possible rescue fees, and any other unexpected expenses she may encounter. While she is a Mayo employee, she on her parent's insurance, which will not cover transport home.

She is far away from her family, friends, and her beloved animals. With this campaign, we hope to lessen the financial burden faced by both Amber and her family. Thank you for your donation.
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For those of you who receive updates on my GoFundMe, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all you have done to help me the past year. I leave you with a final update. I cannot believe this Saturday (3 more days) will be my one year anniversary. Time flies! On May 8th (about a week ago), I had my final surgery to remove the hardware shown in the last update. After this recovery, I will return to almost 100% function which is pretty amazing. I still have lower back pain every day, but I can't complain. I'm alive and getting stronger every day. I am beyond grateful and thank God often. The past 6 months, I have been working part-time as an out-patient RN and soon I will return to the bedside in the Intensive Care Unit. I have opened a new chapter in my life: Inspirational Speaking, and have given a handful of speeches to healthcare professionals and various volunteer groups already. This allows me to share with others my experiences and my new outlook on life in hopes that it reminds them to take care of themselves and stick together. Life is tough, but so are we. We deserve love and respect from others as well as ourselves. I wish the best for all of you. Thank you for supporting me when my vulnerability was at its peak. I needed it. Life is about giving and receiving; I am finally able to start giving back. It is a wonderful feeling. Bless you all. Take care!
Photo Credit: Sara Stathas
Nothing artificial left in my body!
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Hello friends - This is Amber again! I wanted to give you all another update and share the x-ray I got yesterday of my sacrum with pins/screws. I also wanted to share with you that I created a Facebook page: "Amber Kohnhorst Recovery & Support" so please feel free to follow me and talk to me there! It takes me awhile to respond, but I will try to answer. I've been able to share more on Facebook including pictures and the start of journaling my experience. Overall, my condition is slowly improving. I have less pain, but increasing my Gabapentin. The one setback is that I now have left foot drop so I cannot flex that foot or walk on it (but I can tip toe now). But my bladder is waking up! I used to use a urinary catheter every 4-6 hours, but now I only need to use a catheter once in the morning and once at night. I need 24/7 care for 6 more weeks and insurance doesn't cover Home Health, but we have found ways to manage. I'm sleeping quite a bit still. Last week, my surgeon from Utah called to check-in on me. Even though he has passed my care on to my surgeon in Minnesota, he wants to know how I am doing which is wonderful. And today I spoke with someone from Colorado City Fire and Rescue (the team who pulled me out of the canyon). I have family in Utah and Arizona now. If things work out and I'm healthy, my family and I plan to go back out there next year to have a reunion and give thanks to the many people who helped save my life. Also, I have a lot of supporters online and in-person which makes me feel very blessed and has helped me to heal faster, I swear! As always, THANK YOU!!!!!
My sacrum - Sunday was my one month!!!
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This is Amber- I am home and finally able to get on the computer. THANK YOU ALL - I am so grateful for your support, mentally and financially. I plan to communicate more with all as I continue to heal. I am still in a decent amount of pain and take frequent naps, but I have already made a lot of progress and plan to continue that!

So to sum up my experience, I fell May 20th and was rescued at 0200 on May 22nd. I had surgery on my pelvis that day; 6 pins placed that I will need to have surgically removed in about 9 months. The 3 fractures in my back are stable so I'm wearing the TLSO brace for those. I was discharged from the hospital in St. George, Utah on May 31st. I don't have insurance through Mayo Clinic (under my parents due to my age) so I couldn't afford the medical flight. However, my mom and I managed to fly commercial once my surgeon approved it! So June 1st I was admitted to Mayo Clinic and the process began again. I saw multiple medical teams, had a lot of X-rays and CT scans, myelogram, and surgery to fix my broken nose (that was a horrible one! Very painful!). With the help of the social worker, PT, OT, rehab, and psychologist, my new surgeon decided I was ready to go home June 7th . I will be back in 4 weeks for more x-rays and another CT scan. I'm basically bedrest for 10 weeks (minimal activity), then hopefully can begin rehab. BEING HOME IS WONDERFUL! We are in the process of getting home health because I need 24/7 care. I also have some complications due to my nerve damage that I'm tolerating. Either way, I'm still at the beginning of a long recovery. However, given the horror of my fall, I am extremely thankful and blessed. I'll get through it thanks to prayers and encouragement! I hope this helps make sense of a lot. Again, I can't say thank you enough to you all. Much love!
My family and I at home!
I got to say hello to my horse!
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Today Amber was released from the hospital!!! She was beyond excited to head home to Wisconsin to her family and pets. She won't be allowed to walk, bend, lift, twist for 9-10 weeks. Luckily, she's got an amazing support system with us all.
In the car!
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Read a Previous Update
Gretchen Mork
39 months ago

Mayo Medical Transport will come get you and bring you back..no charge...It needs to be a MD to MD transfer. Have the local MD caring for you call 507-255-2910. Our transfer center will take it from there. They transport the most critical of pts and would love to get you home.

+ Read More
Amber Lucy
39 months ago
6
6

Thank you ALL for your help (and Alex for starting page for me), I'm trying to keep up with responses but if you don't hear from me initially, please know that I am so grateful for you! Your care is evident and keeps me going strong!!!

+ Read More
Bryan Fishbaugher
39 months ago
3
3

I see you are a packer backer that means you'll heal packer nation got you covered get well soon

+ Read More
Tamara Katzenberger
38 months ago
1
1

I so wish I could donate monetarily.... I can't right now. What I can do is send you prayers and healing vibes, LOTS of them.

+ Read More
Tom Barry
39 months ago
1
1

I fell and broke my back 12 years ago, and had a back brace like you have. I feel for you it's a slow painful recovery process. But you're young so I'm sure you will get through this. Good luck

+ Read More
Jessica Seabright
39 months ago
1
1

Amazing story! Healing vibes to you!! And yes, Mayo will fly (fixed wing plane I believe) you back to Rochester free of charge!

+ Read More
Carey Hedrick
39 months ago
1
1

I'm so sorry to hear of your accident. I pray for your speedy recovery & that the nursing staff is even half as good and caring as you were caring for my mother (Valerie "Joanie" Hoffman) last summer. I could not have made it through her 7 week hospital stay and death had it not been for you and Shelly (Bond). You will remain in my thoughts and prayers

+ Read More
Carol Johnston
39 months ago
1
1

Our family is praying for a speedy recovery. Time heals, so be patient.

+ Read More
Mary Ellen
39 months ago
1
1

Hi Amber, I was similarly injured in a fall. I sent you a message on FB, but since we're not FB friends you may have to click on messages --> more --> filtered in order to find it. We're in a small club of people that have fractured their back, and I wanted to offer some support and encouragement.

+ Read More
Jenne Jean
39 months ago
1
1

From one Packer fan to the other, well wishes for you! Thankful there are people out there who still mindful of others like the hotel owners were. You are very lucky. Sending thoughts and prayers for you from AZ.

+ Read More
Kendall Kildow
39 months ago
1
1

Hang tough, you will pull through.

+ Read More
Brenda Schiltz
39 months ago
1
1

If you have Mayo insurance, I think you are eligible to have Mayo transport you back here. Look into it.

+ Read More
Susan Murray-Mathews
27 months ago

I donated when this first happened. I'm so glad you've recuperated as well as you have. What a blessing. I wish I had seen the other 18 updates, but never did. So happy for you and the future looks great!

+ Read More
Robert Tate
27 months ago

Hard to believe it has been a year already. I'm happy to see and hear you are almost completely healed. Best of everything in your new ventures. Thanks for the update.

+ Read More

$16,580 of $16,500 goal

Raised by 303 people in 39 months
Created May 22, 2016
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$25
Anonymous
27 months ago
PB
$25
Pascal Bussmann
34 months ago
1
1
AB
$20
AJ Bockhold
35 months ago
1
1

That's a Positively Powerful Smile! You're Amazing!

LP
$25
Liz Proper
37 months ago
1
1

I don't know you, but I also work at Mayo, and I'm also a huge animal advocate - planning to volunteer at Best Friend's this spring. I wish you well in your recovery. Thank you for looking out for our domesticated friends.

$25
Diamond Dimanche
37 months ago
1
1
ER
$5
ernest ryder
37 months ago
1
1

You will get well god is looking after you!

FS
$25
Frank Scialdone
38 months ago
1
1

God Bless and wishing you a successful recovery.

JK
$25
Joseph Kiss
38 months ago
2
2

Get well soon!

$25
michelle camardi
38 months ago
2
2

Thinking of you, feel better soon! As a hiker, I feel like it totally could have been any of us. It takes a strong person to make it out of that one, so as far as recovery goes, you got this girl! Hang in there!

$25
Anonymous
38 months ago
2
2
Gretchen Mork
39 months ago

Mayo Medical Transport will come get you and bring you back..no charge...It needs to be a MD to MD transfer. Have the local MD caring for you call 507-255-2910. Our transfer center will take it from there. They transport the most critical of pts and would love to get you home.

+ Read More
Amber Lucy
39 months ago
6
6

Thank you ALL for your help (and Alex for starting page for me), I'm trying to keep up with responses but if you don't hear from me initially, please know that I am so grateful for you! Your care is evident and keeps me going strong!!!

+ Read More
Bryan Fishbaugher
39 months ago
3
3

I see you are a packer backer that means you'll heal packer nation got you covered get well soon

+ Read More
Tamara Katzenberger
38 months ago
1
1

I so wish I could donate monetarily.... I can't right now. What I can do is send you prayers and healing vibes, LOTS of them.

+ Read More
Tom Barry
39 months ago
1
1

I fell and broke my back 12 years ago, and had a back brace like you have. I feel for you it's a slow painful recovery process. But you're young so I'm sure you will get through this. Good luck

+ Read More
Jessica Seabright
39 months ago
1
1

Amazing story! Healing vibes to you!! And yes, Mayo will fly (fixed wing plane I believe) you back to Rochester free of charge!

+ Read More
Carey Hedrick
39 months ago
1
1

I'm so sorry to hear of your accident. I pray for your speedy recovery & that the nursing staff is even half as good and caring as you were caring for my mother (Valerie "Joanie" Hoffman) last summer. I could not have made it through her 7 week hospital stay and death had it not been for you and Shelly (Bond). You will remain in my thoughts and prayers

+ Read More
Carol Johnston
39 months ago
1
1

Our family is praying for a speedy recovery. Time heals, so be patient.

+ Read More
Mary Ellen
39 months ago
1
1

Hi Amber, I was similarly injured in a fall. I sent you a message on FB, but since we're not FB friends you may have to click on messages --> more --> filtered in order to find it. We're in a small club of people that have fractured their back, and I wanted to offer some support and encouragement.

+ Read More
Jenne Jean
39 months ago
1
1

From one Packer fan to the other, well wishes for you! Thankful there are people out there who still mindful of others like the hotel owners were. You are very lucky. Sending thoughts and prayers for you from AZ.

+ Read More
Kendall Kildow
39 months ago
1
1

Hang tough, you will pull through.

+ Read More
Brenda Schiltz
39 months ago
1
1

If you have Mayo insurance, I think you are eligible to have Mayo transport you back here. Look into it.

+ Read More
Susan Murray-Mathews
27 months ago

I donated when this first happened. I'm so glad you've recuperated as well as you have. What a blessing. I wish I had seen the other 18 updates, but never did. So happy for you and the future looks great!

+ Read More
Robert Tate
27 months ago

Hard to believe it has been a year already. I'm happy to see and hear you are almost completely healed. Best of everything in your new ventures. Thanks for the update.

+ Read More
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