Chris Holder Lives!

Chris Holder is still here!  When he regained consciousness after a  healing, drug-induced coma, Chris communicated so clearly his intention to live, writing this note to Mimi, his mom: Big guy - long ride.  She asked him, "who is the big guy?" and he tapped his chest.  Yes!  We celebrate: he is the big guy and his brain works!

Chris had a serious motorcycle accident Oct. 24.  He exited the freeway in Santa Fe, New Mexico, late in the evening.  The offramp has pavement transitioning into dirt and he skidded onto the sandy shoulder and hit a pole.  Luckily, a car also followed down that very dark offramp. The driver noticed the dust cloud, investigated, kept his airway open and called for help.  Chris' injuries were extensive: torn knee ligaments, broken collarbone, arm and hand, broken pelvis (which nicked leg arteries), broken ribs, collapsed lung, broken jaw, nose, cheeks and bones around the eyes. He needed a blood transfusion, multiple surgeries and was kept in a coma for two weeks.  His overall condition improved daily and he still had his good looks.  After being transferred out of ICU to Albuquerque, he  faced some life-threatening challenges, but was saved again in another ER.  While there, all of his broken bones healed.  He came off the ventilator and his tracheotomy site also healed well. The jaw wires were removed and he could finally eat real food again.  With the last abdominal drain out, Chris went to Health South where he has been receiving wonderful therapy. Everyone there is success oriented and sees the whole person. The staff is absolutely professional and devoted to helping him regain use of his body.  Chris can walk over a 100 feet with a leg brace and a specialized cane, and wheels his chair over 600 feet. And he's excelling in speech & cognitive therapy. It's simply amazing what he's accomplished in less than three weeks there.  He still needs surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right leg, additional treatment on his right arm and hand, and dental work. Next up is a nerve conductivity test.  We are very hopeful for his continuing improvement.  

Chris is the big guy, strong and talented.  He is a craftsman, able to build beauty in wood and tile.  An EMT, search and rescue team member and leader, and a wild land fire fighter, he knew the importance of his full protective gear on his motorcycle ride.  He has devoted a great deal of his time and energy to saving others and their property.  Chris is also an avid skier and snowboarder.  His physical strength and conditioning, along with a great self discipline and desire, will all be called into play for his recovery.  

Chris' mom, Mimi, and his brother, Ryan, have been at his side since the accident.  Ryan is filling in on some of Chris' construction work and helping Mimi find a way for Chris through all the medical pathways. It has been a roller coaster ride.  There are the great medical people out there and the not-so-compassionate.  But the Holder family perseveres.  Any support you would like to contribute will be directed towards meeting Chris' medical needs and facilitating his re-entry into his life.

Update:  some weeks have passed before we were ready to launch the campaign.  Chris is back at home, awaiting a couple more surgeries.  The nerve conductivity test gave us great hope for his recovery and he continues sessions with his therapists.  We truly appreciate the visits and support from everyone.  Thank you!


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Anne Geisler 
Santa Fe, NM
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