In the past 10 months, Kaitlyn Boyle has inspired so many of us with her amazing attitude, her compassion, and her accomplishments on the bike - setting a new women's record of nearly 300 miles at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, riding to the 4th fastest time ever in the Arizona Trail 300, and then winning the Solo 24 Hour World Championships in Scotland in October. It was a break-out year for her in so many ways, and now she could really benefit from our help as her huge momentum has been interrupted.
On Christmas Eve, Kaitlyn was leaving Driggs, Idaho in her truck and collided with an oncoming vehicle on icy roads. She was incredibly lucky to survive the impact, but it left her seriously injured. That night, she had surgery to repair a torn bladder, and a few days later, another team of surgeons stabilized four fractures in her pelvis and one in her sacrum. She also has a broken fibula. The surgeries went well; she now has several external rods holding her pelvis together as it heals, but she won't be able to put weight on her legs for ten weeks as the bones heal. Her spirit has remained amazingly positive, her big smile still spreads across her face frequently, and now she's putting the same level of focus into her recovery that has helped her become such a dominant force on the bike.
Kaitlyn already has begun extensive physical therapy, and that will continue for the next few months as she works to maintain and then regain strength and mobility. She'll then re-learn how to walk and eventually pedal a bike. It's going to be a slow process, but she's already surprising her care team - she managed to get out of her bed and into a chair just one day after her last surgery!
She's also now dealing with the realities of the next few months, and this is where we all can potentially help out through the Kaitlyn Boyle Recovery Fund. She was slated to be working in the field for NOLS and Prescott College for the next two months, but she's now forced to forgo that income. Her health insurance will help substantially until she leaves the hospital, but then she's faced with the expenses of medical equipment, accommodations for 2+ months of recovery, extensive physical therapy and home health care, replacing her totaled truck and then slowly easing back into a more regular lifestyle and training.
For Kaitlyn, 2019 was to be a year of transitioning toward training and racing as a professional mountain bike athlete. Instead, her racing goals are temporarily pushed to the back burner, and she's beginning 2019 setting goals around accomplishments like being able to get out of bed and into a wheelchair without assistance.
If you're able to contribute even a few dollars to help support Kaitlyn through this recovery process and get her back on track toward recovering fully and completely regaining her strength and fitness, she will be filled with so, so much gratitude.
All the love and healing vibes she has already received from everyone has helped motivate and inspire her to remain positive and focused on recovering! Recognizing that not everyone has the means to contribute financially, messages of encouragement, cards, inspiring decorations, and anything else that can be sent through the mail will reach her at the address below.
NOLS Teton Valley
Attn: Kaitlyn Boyle
1690 E 2000 S
Driggs ID 83422
Thank you all for any type of support and encouragement you can provide. We'll keep y'all updated on her progress over the next few months, and you can follow along with her on Instagram (@kait.boyle) as she shares her journey there.
-- Kurt Refsnider (Kait's friend & coach)