I found it ironic I didn’t wear eye makeup to work yesterday, because I ended up crying my little eyes out when I found out that a snowboarding accident has left one of our young and regular patients in a coma. From what I was told yesterday, he fell while trying a jump at Keystone Resort about two weeks ago, was flown via helicopter to a hospital in Golden, CO and has been in an induced coma ever since.
A couple weeks ago I wrote a Buscapade about a fellow who did a standing back flip for me at work, and unfortunately, I am now writing about him again. His name is Joe Josephs, and from what I know about him, he is an 18-year-old Point Pleasant, New Jersey native who had moved to Colorado with two friends only a few months ago to enroll in some sort of renewable energy collegiate program. Joe is very into hardcore sports, such as BMX biking and snowboarding, and he actually stopped by my work for supplies the same day he left for the mountains on a multi-day snowboarding adventure.
I met Joe the very first time he came into our store. I will never forget the grin that spread over my face when he handed me his New Jersey ID and paperwork through the reception window, and I will never forget the look of awe on his face when I opened the door and let him walk into that sort of establishment for his first time. Joe was blown away by our store and spent a good amount of time studying and inquiring about the different products. I remember after he paid for his selection he didn’t want to leave. He stood there looking around with big eyes and an open mouth, and when he finally did depart he walked to the exit door backwards, as though he was trying to take in as much of the place as possible.
After that first visit Joe’s became a face I grew accustomed to seeing on a slightly regular basis. I secretly referred to him as “my little New Jersey boy.” Joe loved to come in and talk with us, and he was always so excited about the selection. Joe went back east to visit his family over his winter break, and when he returned to Denver he brought a gift of “New Jersey blunt wraps” to my co-worker.
I one time inquired of him as to why his parents named him Joseph Josephs. “Did they think it’d be funny?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I’ve never asked them.”
Joe has a lot of spunk and energy in him, and I guess that’s part of the reason I got so upset after hearing about his current condition. I teared up while a mutual acquaintance/patient told me the news, but when he told me that Joe’s parents flew out to CO the day the accident happened and have been here ever since, I really lost it and had to go deal with my emotions in the back room. It’s obviously a parent’s worst nightmare to have their little son move off to the big mountains of Colorado and then suffer a head injury while snowboarding, and now their “big trip out west” is to go sit at their son’s hospital bedside in some random mountain town for who knows how long. The mutual acquaintance who told me the news also said that “once all this is over” the friends Joe moved out here with are “going back to Jersey and never want to snowboard again.”
All of this suffering makes me feel like I want to do something, so I did a little research on Facebook yesterday and found a link where people can donate money into a Paypal account to help cover some medical costs and support Joe’s parents who have probably been staying in a hotel the entire time. My younger brother was hospitalized for a week not that long ago, and I think the stress and turmoil I saw my own parents go through makes me extra sympathetic to this cause. I know almost every single person reading this doesn’t know Joe Josephs, but if anyone has the heart and financial stability to donate anything, you can do so by clicking here. It would make me smile and would mean a hell of a lot more to the Josephs family during their time of hardship.
“As sure as the sun will shine, I’m gonna give myself what’s mine, The harder they come, The harder they fall, One and all…”