The greater Tahoe area has seen its fair share of tragedies over the past few years. From Shane to Arne to CR, we've lost a lot of those we love and those who have helped shape snow sports culture.
Earlier this month, professional snowboarder and Tahoe local, Danny Toumarkine, was in Montana when he suffered an injury that thankfully spared his life but left many questions with those who love him about his health and recovery.
His good friend Michelle Parker has been by Danny's side the whole time and gives us an update and lets us know what we can do to help.
"On the third of January, professional snowboarder, Danny Toumarkine suffered a traumatic head injury (TBI) while riding up in Montana on a filming trip. He was filming with Shreddy Times. I'm sure you've seen the Mike Wilson 99 Foot Rope Swing Quadruple Backflips video, that's Shreddy Times, a company started by Danny and his brother. He was life flighted to Benefis hospital in Great Falls, where he had an emergency craniotomy surgery. Since then he's had a second craniotomy where they removed a piece of his skull and are storing it in his abdominal area until the swelling of his brain goes down enough to put the piece back into place. Danny is in stable condition and is showing signs of recovery.
I'm currently sitting next to him in ICU room number 5109. My mind is flooded with memories of his vibrant personality, his amazing bird like laugh, and all of the experiences that we've shared. The reality is too harsh, but it's staring me in the face when I look over at Danny with a two large question mark shaped scars running along the sides of his head. Last night we got some of the best responses from Danny while doing the routine neuro tests. He was able to give us a thumbs up, open his eyes and mov them around a bit, and when the nurse asked him if he was in pain, he raised his thumb in response. These things might seem small, but every bit of progress towards his recovery is a step in the right direction.
I suppose I'm writing this for a couple of reasons. One would be to raise awareness of the importance in wearing a helmet and the other is to help in raising funds for Danny's recovery. I don't know if you know Danny personally, but if you would like to keep track of how he's doing, share some of your memories/words of encouragement, or make a donation towards his recovery visit www.dannyisthebomb.com. There are T-shirts, stickers, and live strong bracelets (customized to say Danny Is The Bomb), as well as some hand made hats that I've been working on in the gear section of the site if you feel so inclined to support Danny through this. We are regularly updating the site with any news on his recovery.
This is a wild experience for Danny and it's the scariest thing I've ever been a part of. I have a good feeling that he will wake up and recover from this injury. The love and support that has already been shown on www.dannyisthebomb.com has been absolutely amazing. Keep the positive thoughts going his way. I can't wait for Danny to open his eyes!"