DEAR EDITOR: 

We are writing to thank this wonderful community. Two of our three children, Gregory and Grace, were in the Cornet Creek accident on May 3. And what followed the accident was nothing short of amazing.

As many of you know, while on a family hike, a large chunk of ice broke off from above and injured our two oldest children. Both suffered head injuries. While our youngest, Elijah, was able to get his disoriented big brother safely down the mountain to our friends who would later meet us at the Telluride Regional Medical Center, Grace’s injuries were more severe. A lovely young couple called 911 for us and stayed until help arrived. What followed was an unbelievable coordination of compassion, training and professionalism by the fire department, San Miguel Search and Rescue, the sheriff’s department, and medical center staff. And while we don’t remember all of these heroes’ names and their faces were covered with masks, what they did for our family will not be forgotten. We are so grateful for each and every one of them.

These phenomenal people were just the beginning of our miracle. Our network of prayer warriors had been dispatched. Gregory suffered a concussion, and Grace was to be flown to Denver to meet with a team of pediatric neurologists because of a skull fracture and brain bleed. We were uncertain what we were facing and whether Grace would ever be Grace again. Everyone we met along the way was praying for us or thinking of us. And on the plane to Denver, our little girl came back to us. Just like that. She once again knew who she was and who we were. Although she was scared and disoriented, we were filled with hope. The hospital in Denver was amazing. Grace would make a full recovery; it was just going to be a long road. 

But the miracle doesn’t end there. You, Telluride, are our miracle. The way this community rallied behind us and poured out so much love and support has overwhelmed us with gratitude that we moved here, surrounded by your love and compassion. It is a sense of belonging and community we have never before experienced beyond our own family. Our children’s classmates and teachers, our neighbors and coworkers, even strangers have reached out to help. Our faith community at St. Patrick’s has been incredible. They have a Good Samaritan fund, and people have stepped up to help us with medical bills. Different friends covered the cost of our flights to and from Denver. Thank you isn’t a strong enough phrase to express the depth of gratitude we feel for each and every one of you that is helping us through this.

Grace can be defined as a gift of compassion, love and healing. And it is beautiful. We are blessed, Telluride, by your amazing grace, and it is beyond what we could have asked or imagined.

Gary, Katrina, Gregory, Grace and Elijah Aumiller

Telluride