Steamboat woman remains in critical condition after bike crash | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat woman remains in critical condition after bike crash

Mary Brown

A prominent Steamboat Springs resident remains in critical condition with a severe spinal cord injury after crashing her bike Saturday.

Mary Brown, who was on City Council for eight years, was riding her bike on the south side of Steamboat with her husband, John Tomasini, and friends when the 67-year-old hit an orange construction barrel.

Police Chief Cory Christensen said Thursday that there was not a vehicle near Brown when the accident happened, and there was only one cyclist involved.

"Witness accounts indicate that Mary looked away from her line of travel, possibly to check for traffic, and drifted toward the barrel, striking it," Christensen wrote in an email. "This is the best we have on the accident. This was a tragic accident, and our thoughts are with Mary and her family."

The family has set up a website at caringbridge.org/visit/marytomasini to let family and friends know about Brown's condition.

The family wrote that Brown was wearing a helmet, but the impact was significant, and she struggled to remain conscious.

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Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters resuscitated her and brought her to Yampa Valley Medical Center. She then was flown to Denver Health.

Brown suffered two fractures in her cervical spine at C1 and C2, which are located at the top of the spine.

On Monday, the family met with her medical team, which includes neurosurgery, intensive care unit surgeons, rehabilitation doctors, hospice and palliative caregivers.

Brown's spinal cord had been compromised with swelling and bleeding, according to the Caring Bridge site. She was unable to breath on her own and had no sensation below the break in her neck.

"We are all taking time to let her try to heal and see if she'll be able to participate in decision-making," the family wrote Monday.

On Tuesday, Brown was more settled in, and her pain management was working well.

"We have shared your messages with her," the family wrote. "She likes hearing about what's going on in her family's daily life."

Tomasini wrote Wednesday that his wife was making facial movements to acknowledge yes and no, and she would wrinkle her brow when she questioned something.

Surgeons removed Brown's respirator tube from her mouth and performed a tracheostomy so she would be more comfortable.

Tomasini wrote that Brown has been receiving excellent care at Denver Health, and he thanked everyone for their support.

"The love and prayers coming from home are being felt and heard," Tomasini wrote. "I thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. You are our home, and we will be back."

Loui Antonucci, who served with Brown on the City Council and is close to her family, said he spoke with Tomasini on Sunday, but he was trying not to bother the family. He hoped to speak with Tomasini again later this week.

According to Steamboat Today archives, Brown has lived in Steamboat for nearly 50 years.

She has two daughters. Lisa Brown is the CEO of Northwest Colorado Health, and Kristin Wilson is a physician at Steamboat Medical Group.

Most recently, Mary Brown was doing work for the city. She acted as the liaison between the public, city and business owners during Yampa Street construction.

Brown served on the City Council from 1987 to 1995. She was council president from 1989 to 1993.

Brown has served on numerous nonprofit boards, and she was instrumental in establishing the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs.