(Ed’s note: This story is being updated.)
UPDATE, Friday, Jan. 13, 4:27 p.m. MST
The publicist for Sarah Burke’s family, Nicole Wool, issued another update on her condition this afternoon:
Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke remains at the University of Utah Hospital in critical condition. She is under close monitoring by a multidisciplinary team coordinated by neurointensivist Safdar Ansari, M.D.
“Sarah remains in critical condition in the Neuro Critical Care Unit,” said Ansari. “With traumatic brain injury, our care is focused on addressing the primary injury and preventing secondary brain damage, as well as managing other injuries sustained at the time of the accident; all of which requires close monitoring and intensive care. At this moment, Sarah needs more time before any prognosis can be determined.”
More information about traumatic brain injury can be found from the following resources: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health:http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/tbi.htm, and
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/
Friends and fans may continue to post their well wishes on Sarah's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Burke/50553451173.
A press conference will be held on Monday, January 16, 2012 at the University of Utah Clinical Neurosciences Center. Details including time will be available on Sunday, January 15. Further media requests regarding Sarah should be directed to me at 323-933-4646 or email@example.com
UPDATE, Thursday, Jan. 12, 11:04 a.m. MST
The publicist for Sarah Burke’s family, Nicole Wool, issued another update on her condition this morning:
Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke remains in critical condition at the University of Utah Hospital after sustaining serious injuries during a training run at Park City Mountain Resort on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Burke underwent a successful operation to repair a tear to her vertebral artery which resulted in an intracranial hemorrhage at the time of her fall. William T. Couldwell, M.D. Ph.D., professor and chair of Neurosurgery at University of Utah, performed the operation to repair the artery.
"With injuries of this type, we need to observe the course of her brain function before making definitive pronouncements about Sarah's prognosis for recovery," said Couldwell. "Our Neuro Critical Care team will be monitoring her condition and response continuously over the coming hours and days."
Sarah's family is grateful for the overwhelming outpouring of support from around the globe. Fans may continue to use Sarah’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Burke/50553451173 to express their wishes and receive updates.
The family also requests media and the public respect their privacy in order to give them time with Sarah at this critical stage. Media requests regarding Sarah continue to be directed to me at 323.933.4646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 12:44 p.m. MST
A publicist for Sarah Burke’s family released this statement today:
On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was transported by AirMed helicopter to University of Utah Hospital from Park City Mountain Resort after sustaining serious injuries during training. She is currently listed in critical condition in the hospital's Neuro Critical Care Unit.
"Sarah sustained serious injuries and remains intubated and sedated in critical condition," according to Safdar Ansari, M.D., a neurointensivist with University of Utah Health Care.
Sarah's husband Rory Bushfield and her family are by her bedside and wish to express their sincere thanks to everyone, all over the world, for their heartfelt thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. "Sarah is a very strong young woman and she will most certainly fight to recover," said Rory.
Sarah's family has asked that fans and media respect their privacy during this difficult time. Sarah's friends and fans are encouraged to post their well wishes on Sarah's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Burke.
By Tim Mutrie
Published: Jan. 10, 5:48 p.m. MST
Veteran halfpipe skier Sarah Burke sustained a serious head injury in a crash at Park City Mountain Resort this afternoon. She was airlifted by helicopter to University Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Burke, 29, of Squamish, B.C., was training in the halfpipe with fellow Monster Energy team riders. Around 1 p.m., she landed a trick off of the wall on her feet at the bottom of the pipe, but then “whiplashed” over onto her side, according to person who witnessed the accident. She was obviously injured, said the witness, who spoke to Powder.com on condition of anonymity. Ski patrol stabilized her at the scene of the accident and transported her to the base of the mountain, according to the Park Record newspaper.
Rory Bushfield, Burke’s husband who is also a pro skier, was flying into Salt Lake to be with Burke at the hospital, according to the witness.
Burke, one of the most decorated women in freeskiing and a member of the Canadian freestyle team, started skiing halfpipe in 2000, and over the course of her career, won eight Winter X Games medals, including four golds. Her recent energies have been dedicated to preparing for the 2014 Olympics, which will include halfpipe skiing for the first time.
The Powder staff extends its best wishes and prayers to Burke, her family and friends. We will update this story as more information becomes available.