HJ/EDMarch 13, 2006

Cokato boy injured while snowboarding on Colorado trip

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Collin Mattila, 14, of Cokato was seriously injured March 3 in a snowboarding accident in Snowmass, Colo., and is now in an induced coma in an intensive care unit in Denver.

Mattila is the son of Doug and Judy Mattila. The Mattilas were on a family vacation and on their second day of snowboarding, according to Mattila’s sister, Heidi, who called the Enterprise Dispatch from Denver.

Mattila was doing a series of snowboarding jumps. When he made the third jump he was going too fast because of the previous two jumps. Mattila hit the ground on the side of his face with the same impact as if he fell 210 feet, the family was told by doctors.

Mattila’s brother, Lance, 16, and sister, Rachel, 12, found him unconscious and bleeding on the ground. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Aspen where doctors discovered he had a tear in his aorta, his sister said.

Mattila was airlifted to Denver Health to repair the tear in his heart. He survived the heart surgery but still has a broken femur and two lower arm bones, and most of his ribs are broken. Mattila’s lungs are partially collapsed. One side of his brain is bruised and the other side has some bleeding, his sister said.

The Denver doctors expect him to be in the hospital from six months to a year. Doctors also told the Mattilas that it would be a miracle for him to get out of the ICU within a month, his sister said.

Mattila’s mother is staying in Denver to be with him. Cards may be sent to her at the Mariott Hotel, Attn: Judy Mattila, Room 233, 685 Speer Blvd., Denver, CO, 80204.

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