On July 8th our friend Dan Stadtler suffered a catastrophic hit to the face while whitewater kayaking on the Big South Fork of the Cache la Poudre River near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
Dan became overturned in one of the last significant rapids of the river, Slideways. After getting beatdown in the bottom hydraulic, he flushed from the feature while overturned in his kayak and broke his paddle and face off a rock shortly downstream. Dan blew out most of his front teeth and dismembered his upper lip in the accident.
He was incredibly fortunate that he had not lost consciousness, as the incident may have taken his life. He was able to make it out of this remote river canyon and to a hospital in a timely manner.
Unfortunately his health insurance had lapsed a few days prior on June 30th and is already faced with $7000+ in bills with more in foreseeable future.
He has already had reconstructive surgery on his lip, but will be undertaking months of bone and gum grafts to repair the devastated root structure of his lost teeth to a point where he could receive implants. He hopes to be able to receive these implants by Thanksgiving, some 4+ months away. Right now he is confined to soft/liquid foods and will continue working as a river guide and at the brewery in Boulder throughout this process; a daunting task given his outward appearance.
This has to be one of the most severe non fatal kayaking injuries I have seen. We all know, understand, and accept the risks (and rewards) associated with mountain sports and particularly whitewater kayaking; Dan included. Most of us have put ourselves in a scenario where an injury like this could happen at one point or another, whether it be hiking over wet slippery rocks (I lost my teeth this way), biking, kayaking, climbing, etc.. He would never ask for help or set up one of these pages for himself, but I know he has a really rough few months ahead of him regardless of the financial burden.
Anything you can spare to help him would be greatly appreciated and I know his gratitude is immense. Karma is a beautiful thing.
- Andrew Desloge
- Ailsa Bier
- Nick Andreone
- Laura Riedman
- Georgie Watters
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