Patient Stories

Morgan's Snowy Mountain Emergency

What does Life Flight Network’s presence in rural communities mean to you? In a simple yet heartfelt response Morgan answered, “My life.”

One February morning Morgan, who was 15 at the time, and her grandfather set out on a snowmobile ride in the Pintler mountain range outside of Anaconda, MT. Unfortunately, Morgan was unable to negotiate a turn and one of the skis on the sled caught on a downed log and launched her head first into a tree. The impact was so severe it knocked the helmet off her head. Morgan lay unconscious in the snow; she was barely breathing.

First responders from Georgetown Lake Volunteer Fire Department and Anaconda Fire responded to the remote, backcountry scene while simultaneously requesting Life Flight Network’s locally-based helicopter. Morgan was extricated from the scene and flown to the closest trauma center, Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, MT. While there, she underwent stabilizing treatment and imaging studies. Life Fight Network subsequently transferred Morgan to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA, for further care.

Morgan remained unconscious for 10 days. She was diagnosed with a stage 3 diffuse axonal injury, a temporal skull fracture, multiple brain bleeds, blood and cerebral spinal fluid leaking from her ear, and a bruised lung. Morgan went through extensive treatments and rehabilitation therapy. Forty days after the incident she was discharged home and continued therapy through Community Hospital of Anaconda’s rehab program.


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