December has been a very busy month for Marla, and for Mary and Leo as well. Right after Thanksgiving,
Marla had an appointment with Dr. Sachar, the surgeon who emplaced her artificial elbow. Upon reviewing
her most recent x-rays, Dr. Sachar found a break in the ulna (one of the primary bones in the forearm), that
Mary and Marla had been suspecting for some time. Marla was very disappointed to hear the news. She
has gone through so much during her recovery process, and so many surgeries, that she was quite sad
at the prospect of another surgery . However, Dr. Sachar immediately scheduled Marla for surgery on
December 8 in order to stabilize and secure the bones in her forearm.
Marla was admitted to Swedish hospital in Englewood on December 8th for the surgery. Mary and Leo
stayed at the Englewood home of Leigh Phipps, a new friend that Marla has made in Glenwood Springs.
Thanks very much to Leigh for letting us stay at your wonderful house! Again, it was arranged so
that Marla had a family member by her side 24⁄7 during her stay in the hospital, to help her
communicate with her healthcare providers, and to make sure that she felt comfortable and secure.
The surgery went smoothly and without complication. Dr. Sachar placed a new plate on the ulna,
extending on either side of the break, for stability. In addition, he utilized a piece of cadaverous
fibula to provide additional support. Finally, he did a bone graft within the area of the break to
help the bones heal together. All in all, the surgery lasted about 2 1⁄2 hours. Dr. Sachar said
that things went as well as he had hoped for. Mary and Leo visited with friends Marge Cooper,
Lory Courtney, and Ann Thomas during the procedure.
Marla recovered in the hospital during a two day stay. The post-surgical pain gradually diminished,
although she again experienced very uncomfortable itching as a side effect of the pain medication.
She enjoyed visits from friends Linda Capra and Missy and Steve Marsh during her stay.
Meanwhile, Marla is adjusting to life in Glenwood Springs. She has become active in the Beta Sigma
Phi adult sorority organization, where she has made new friends of similar age and with
similar interests. She continues to have fun with crafting and stamping, and worked hard
on making Christmas cards utilizing her skills. She also has had fun attending several music concerts,
including the Symphony in the Valley holiday concert, the annual Mountain Madrigals concert, and
an energetic show by Shawn Colvin and Chris Isaak at Macky Auditorium in Boulder.
December 13th marked the two year anniversary of Marla’s car accident. Looking back at her
progress over that time, we are amazed at how far she has come and at her determined spirit.
We learn from her in some fashion every day, and we are so thankful to have her in our lives.
On December 18th, Marla attended a concert by the local Roaring Fork Valley band called SoulFeel.
Drummer Dane Wilson (a classmate of Marla’s at Glenwood Spring High School), Brad Foster and Brook
Mooney comprise SoulFeel, and their concert at Summit Canyon Mountaineering was a benefit for
Marla. Their rock and roll sound was a lot of fun, and Marla had fun listening, and watching fans of the
band dance the evening away!
Once again, Marla’s friends and classmates from the Glenwood Springs High School class of 1991
are coming through to support her recovery. They are trying to raise funds to help Marla purchase an
adaptive recumbent bicycle, that will offer the support and stability to allow her to get back on the bike
for exercise and outdoor adventure! Marla and her family continue to be amazed at and thankful
for the outpouring of support and generosity from her amazing community of friends.
Happy holiday season to all–of whatever creed or faith–Happy Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas,
and a joyful New Year to all! Thank you for checking in, and for your on-going support for Marla and her