Rebecca Koltun Ski Accident – On Saturday, March 13, 2021, Rebecca Koltun, a healthy, vibrant young woman about to graduate college, was in a life-threatening ski accident in which she suffered catastrophic injuries to her neck and spinal cord. A determined team of some 20 EMTs and other medical professionals ultimately saved her life, but the devastating outcome is that Rebecca is now paralyzed from the neck down. She can see, hear and understand, but is unable to move her arms or legs, and she can’t breathe on her own: She will be dependent on a ventilator for the foreseeable future. The injury to her spinal cord—C1-C2, incomplete—is similar to that suffered years ago by actor Christopher Reeve. The medical name for her condition is quadriplegia.
We all know and love Rebecca as a strong, smart, ambitious, funny and determined young woman. In addition to being an avid skier, soccer player and New York Times crossword puzzle whiz, she’s also a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, friend, classmate and teammate. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that she was planning to attend medical school after graduating from Binghamton University this May. And we have no doubt Rebecca will approach the challenges she now faces with the same passion and fortitude. She already is.
In addition to coping with overwhelming shock, Rebecca’s parents—Scott and Audrey–now face exorbitant medical bills that their health insurance does not cover. In the first year alone, the cost of Rebecca’s care will likely exceed $1 million in out-of-pocket expenses, and there will be additional costs for modifying their home and purchasing the equipment necessary to address her needs, such as a customized van, specialized exercise equipment for strengthening and preventing atrophy of her muscles and a wheelchair, as well as a home care provider to help with her daily tasks and exercise.
If you are able, please consider supporting Rebecca and her family—Scott, Audrey and Rebecca’s brother, Erik–as they cope with the heartbreak of Rebecca’s injuries and the financial challenges ahead. Your contribution will help cover the cost of daily care and therapy she needs when she transfers to an in-patient rehab facility which specializes in treating and rehabilitating people with severe spinal cord injuries. She and her family will be forever grateful.
The first year of Rebecca’s treatment will be critical. Upon discharge from the hospital, Rebecca will need to spend months in rehab, receiving care almost around the clock. Research and experience indicate that in some instances, and with the supervision of trained experts, people with spinal cord injuries may recover partial function. Those gains typically come during the first twelve months of treatment and require a highly qualified team who will work with Rebecca daily, using cutting-edge medical equipment and technology. The right strengthening or range of motion exercises could pave the way for Rebecca to one day walk or use her hands again. That’s why these first few weeks and months are the most crucial time to provide support.
That Rebecca survived this devastating accident is nothing short of a miracle. It is proof of her love for life and strong sense of purpose. It’s important to remember, she’s still Rebecca, and she’s still a fighter. Rebecca has brightened our lives for 21 years. Now let’s join together to brighten hers.
We have chosen to fundraise for the Koltuns through Help Hope Live because the organization assures fiscal accountability for funds raised. You can be sure your donation will be used to pay or reimburse medical and care-related expenses. To make a tax-deductible donation to support Rebecca’s care (by credit or debit card), simply click the Give button. If you prefer to donate by check, instructions are on the left side of the page under Mail a Check.
For more information, please contact Help Hope Live at 800.642.8399.