On Monday, January 3, 2022, our beautiful mother, Rose Yee Nicklas, was skiing with our father at Grand Targhee Resort (GTR). Our parents practice ‘defensive-skiing’ and ski close together, constantly scanning for downhill skiers and obstacles, and ski slow (4-6 mph) with short, coordinated turns. On their last run of the day, a reckless skier in a ‘tuck’ racing position, going at least 30 mph, sped over the tails of our dad’s skis, narrowly missing him before colliding with our mom as she was coming out of a right turn. Mom never saw the skier coming as he hit her from behind on her right side. The force of the impact launched her into the air and pushed her 20-25 feet downhill before collapsing in a heap.
Our dad and some other Good Samaritan skiers quickly came to her aid while the uninjured perpetrator refused to help or show any remorse. Ski Patrol arrived shortly after to provide first aid and assess Mom’s injuries. Mom was swiftly moved to the GTR Helicopter Landing Zone to be life-flighted to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) in Idaho Falls, ID, for what everyone assumed to be a badly broken right leg. As our dad was making the 1.5-hour drive to EIRMC, the Emergency Room surgeon called him, and we then learned that the situation was much more dire.
Mom’s life-threatening injuries include a collapsed lung, pulmonary contusion, and lacerated liver along with a broken scapula, multiple broken ribs, shattered tibia and fibula, broken wrist, and possible concussion. It took four surgeries over the course of four days to stop her internal bleeding. The ER surgeon stated that he had never seen such traumatic injuries of this nature coming from a ski resort. He stated her injuries were more consistent with a patient in an automobile accident. As of January 12, 2022, Mom is still in the ICU at EIRMC, has undergone six surgeries, and currently has no recollection of the incident.
We are incredibly grateful that Mom is still here with us and now realize that her road to recovery will be long, hard, and expensive. Luckily, our mom is tough as nails and will be able to handle the physical burden, but we are especially devastated that this tragedy occurred just as Mom and Dad started the retirement that they had worked so hard for and carefully planned. Donated funds will go towards Mom’s extensive medical bills to repair the injuries caused by the heartless skier’s actions, with the hope of giving our parents the happy and comfortable retirement they deserve.
If you prefer to mail in your donation, a get-well card, or anything else, please use the following address:
1712 South Deer Springs Road
Driggs, ID 83422
We will continue to post updates on Mom’s recovery here. Please use #ResilientRose for sharing on social media!