On July 5th I received a call that is every parent’s worst nightmare. My twin sister and her kids were in Austria for her children to attend Austria Racing Camps, a ski racing camp in Hintertux. My nephew Cooper had a high impact fall and was found unconscious with multiple injuries. I was told that Cooper was being air lifted to a hospital in Innsbruck. My brother-in-law and I took the next flight out and arrived the next day. Cooper had suffered a badly broken arm that needed surgery, a lung contusion, kidney bleed but most severe was that the MRIs showed a traumatic brain injury called Diffused Axonal Injury, DAI. For 12 grueling days now, we have been stuck waiting for him to regain consciousness.
Cooper is an athletic and loving 12 year old boy that makes friends wherever he goes. He loves sports including lacrosse, wresting and is an expert ski racer. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly what happened as Cooper was alone when he was found. We also don’t know how long it will take for Cooper to regain consciousness.
Cooper’s brother, Ethan (16), and sisters, Brynn (14) and Grace (10), were able to see him in the hospital before flying back with me to the US on Saturday, July 16. We can’t thank our friends and family enough for their love and support. We are grateful to have friends working on a medical flight to bring Cooper back to NY so when the doctors feel he is stable enough for the 9hr flight, we can bring him home. This flight would have a full medical team on board in case of any emergencies with ambulance transfers to and from hospitals on both ends. Once back in NY, Cooper will be admitted to Cornell/HSS with Cornell focusing on the Neuro side and HSS looking after his arm. He had surgery on Tuesday, July 12th to insert titanium rods into his right arm. Both will need to be removed in the future. He will also need months of rehabilitation at a rehabilitation center once the Cornell/HSS doctors feel he is ready.
As you can imagine, the medical and rehabilitation costs can be astronomical. I am starting this GoFundMe only to help cover Cooper’s hospital and rehabilitation bills so that Cooper’s parents, Jessica and Jason, can concentrate on Cooper’s recovery. Please feel free to donate ANY amount and please pass this along to anyone that knows and loves Cooper. He is going to need our help in the coming months. I will update this GoFundMe as I can and thank you again for all the support.
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- Kellie Wachtel
- Petra Valentova
- Lora Dileo
Organizer and beneficiary