Steamboat Springs Edwin Rodriguez, the toddler who spent more than a month in a Denver hospital after falling into Butcherknife Creek in June, was all smiles as he walked around his parents’ living room and played with toys Thursday afternoon.
Edwin, now almost 16 months old, was released July 7 from Children’s Hospital after being admitted June 4 in critical condition.
His parents, Deyanira Herrera Rodriguez and Lucrecio “Rodrigo” Rodriguez, answered questions through Herrera Rodriguez’s brother, Tony Herrera, who interpreted for them.
Herrera Rodriguez said Edwin has been working with physical and occupational therapists in Steamboat and will start working with a speech therapist next month. She said they have a checkup Aug. 29 at Children’s Hospital but everything appears to have returned to normal.
“He’s doing very, very good,” Herrera Rodriguez said. “He’s being the same. He’s doing everything he used to do.”
Herrera Rodriguez, 19, said she and Rodrigo Rodriguez, 24, are originally from Mexico. She said that Rodrigo has lived in Steamboat for five years and that she moved to town three years ago. She said Edwin, their first child, was born in Steamboat.
Edwin’s parents said that they’re still not sure exactly what happened June 4 but that they know it was an accident.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Officers think Edwin wandered away from the Sixth Street Condominiums on Sixth Street between Oak and Pine streets, where his family was visiting his grandparents. He fell into Butcherknife Creek shortly thereafter.
His grandfather found him in the creek where it runs behind the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant about 400 feet from the home. The creek swept Edwin under the alley between Oak and Pine streets and under Oak Street. Steamboat resident Denton Turner, who happened to be nearby, performed CPR until emergency responders arrived. Edwin was then taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center before being airlifted to Denver.
After the accident, Steamboat Restaurant Group owner Rex Brice and other local restaurants began accepting donations to help pay for expenses related to Edwin’s treatment. Brice also donated 1 percent of sales for a week from his restaurants, including Big House Burgers and Bottle Cap Bar, where Rodrigo Rodriguez works.
Brice said his restaurants collected more than $3,000 for Edwin’s family, a response that didn’t surprise him.
“We have an incredibly giving and caring community,” he said. “It seems like any time something like this happens, they step up. I’m just happy to see that they did.”
Herrera Rodriguez has said other restaurants, including Fiesta Jalisco and Tequila’s, and community members also collected money to help pay for Edwin’s medical expenses.
Edwin’s parents wanted to thank Children’s Hospital for taking care of him and the restaurants and people in Steamboat for their help. They said it meant a lot to them that the community, people they knew and many people they didn’t know, helped with financial support and offered their prayers for the family.
“We’re really, really thankful,” Rodrigo Rodriguez said. “We always will be.”
To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-42303 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com