This is one of those posts you never want to make. However, given I have a platform that reaches out to a decent number of viewers each day, I feel I wouldn’t be my part for the shred community if I didn’t take initiative. Even though this is a ski based blog, SkiersRealm believes all riders are created equal and recognizes that whether there is one or two planks under your feet, we’re all in this game for the same reason. So when a fellow addict falls into a position of need it’s up to all of us to pull together to help them. Whatever, help that may be. Which brings me to the reasoning behind this post. On January 3rd of this year, Professional snowboarder Danny Toumarkine suffered a traumatic brain injury while on a film trip with Shreddy times in Teton Pass, Montana. While the jump that he hit was small and described as something you’d hit off the side of a groomed trail, for whatever reason on that day the it was enough to send him to a group of trees. Nobody saw it happen, but when friends arrived it was clear the situation was serious. Below is an excerpt from some words by Michelle Parker, follow the link on to NewSchoolers where you can find the Post in its entirety. Also, Danny’s brother has started a website where you can follow his progression throughout this experience. If you would like to follow his progress, share your thoughts, or donate to his recovery check out www.dannyisthebomb.com.
NewSchoolers.com Words By Michelle Parker
Professional snowboarder, Danny Toumarkine, suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) on January 3rd of this year. He was on a filming trip with Shreddy Times in Teton Pass, Montana and hit a small jump (like the one you would hit off the side of a groomed trail) and fell into a group of trees. No one saw the actual fall, but nonetheless when his friends arrived to help him out he was face down in a pile of blood and snow.
Fast-forward to today, and Danny has had two craniotomies. He is currently heavily sedated and carefully monitored. He has a tracheostomy, which is a tube that runs through your neck and is hooked up to a ventilator that breathes for you. He has a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, or a PEG, which is a tube that runs from the outside of his abdomen and into his stomach. A piece of Danny’s skull is being stored in his abdomen until the swelling in his brain subsides enough to put it back into place. There is a skin flap covering his brain, but if you were to touch his head in that place, the only thing separating you from feeling his brain is flesh…Please follow on to NewSchoolers for the rest of the article.
This unfortunate accident brings up a very important issue in the current snowboarding/skiing arena. Helmets. It’s clear that their popularity is growing every year as riders become more safety conscious. However, not everybody wears them and in cases like Danny’s (who was also without a helmet) it very well could have prevented a terrible accident. I personally do not currently wear one. The reason? Call it vanity more than anything. I don’t like the feel of a helmet compared to a beanie. I don’t like the look of them on me either. And even though a close friend and co-worker of mine was also involved in a life threatening crash where the helmet she was wearing most likely saved her life, I continue to ride each day without one. But as I sit here writing this, it’s very evident that any of us could go at any time and to not consider the feelings of those closest to you in the event of an accident is pure ignorance. Especially, an accident that could have been prevented by something as simple as wearing a helmet. Don’t take this as a lecture aimed at Danny or anyone else, but as words that will hopefully raise awareness to those of us who have yet to commit to staying safe on the hill. If you’re like me and don’t wear a helmet, we need to get it through our thick heads that helmets save lives. Because no matter how thick your skull is, it won’t be thick enough. I’m getting a helmet.