Heather Mazzola is a UCHMG Cardiology Nurse Practitioner I am blessed to work with on a daily basis. She is an inspiration in so many ways, and I am honored to climb along side her to the Summit of Pikes Peak. Please read her amazing story below:
“My traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurred 17 years ago when I was driving home from my job as an ICU nurse. I lived across train tracks that had no railway crossing bars or signals. I’ll never know the exact details of the accident, but my vehicle was hit by a train. The impact that day had on my life can never be reversed. I endeared a severe TBI, broke my C-3 vertebrae, and ruptured my spleen. My family was told my chances of survival were grim. Initially, I was sedated, on ventilator support, and given nutrition through a feeding tube but, by some grace, I survived! I was transferred out of the intensive care unit 3 weeks later, with severe right side deficits. I had to learn to walk, talk, and eat again. It was a humbling challenge that I took on without hesitation. I have come so far. Within 6 months, I was able to return to work as a nurse! I have gone on to become a nurse practitioner. My career has been one of my saving graces. Support from family and friends is invaluable! I have run a marathon, and continue to hike, run, bike, and ski (easy blues and greens). I love the mountains and this amazing state I am grateful to call home! If I had to sum it up, I would say I feel like the luckiest person alive! I am so grateful for all that I have accomplished!”
I’m excited to share my commitment to participate in the 2017 Pikes Peak Challenge Summit Hike. The Brain Injury Association of Colorado puts on this challenge every year to raise money for TBI support. This will be my first year and Heather’s 16th year in summiting Pikes Peak. When we finish, we will have hiked 13 miles and 7,400 vertical feet to the 14,110 foot summit of Pikes Peak.
Even more impressive than this challenge, is the courage and strength it takes for Heather, and other survivors like her, to overcome day-to-day struggles that come with a life of living with an injury to the brain.
Please donate now and together we can make a huge impact for brain injury survivors like Heather and the entire brain injury community.
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