Bill McMahon is a long time season pass holder and avid skier. Less than a year ago he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him bed bound, unable to get up and unable to even talk. The prognosis did not look good. He was admitted to Marquis Centennial
a skilled nursing facility for rehab, and just seven months later, Bill returned to the slopes.
Meadows welcomed Bill, his wife Miriam, daughter Carla and his therapeutic team last Monday (February 22). Bill was fitted to a Biski - an adaptive seat on two skis that a lead instructor guides to allow a skier with special needs to ski on the slopes. John Bailey and Jeremy Dirk were the instructors leading Bill.
“Mt. Hood Meadows was more than open hearted,” McMahon said, as they offered to pay for me, my family, and Marquis staff to have this day on the slopes.
McMahon was strapped into a sit-ski and took nearly a dozen runs down the mountain with the help of a sit-ski instructor helping him control his speed and direction.
“I like the fresh air up there, the smells up there, the pine and Douglas Firs, and just the smell of the clean air and the incredible blue sky when you happen to hit a sunny day, which we did,” McMahon said, when asked why he choose skiing for his New Chapters event.
McMahon said he’s very excited to go home, and he plans to look into the cost of a sit-ski so he can spend more time on the mountain.
“Nothing’s going to stop me,” McMahon said. “As soon as I woke up I started progressing much quicker than I ever imagined. Skiing gives me peace inside, so it’s still there from when I was up there. It gave me some of my life back.”His lead instructors were John Bailey and Jeremy Dirk.
The day was made possible by the New Chapter program at Marquis Centennial that grants patients their wish to return to an activity they have done in the past.
Bill’s stroke recovery continues - after receiving rehab and care at Marquis he is now fully functional in a wheelchair. His cognition has cleared and he is back to his mentation prior to the stroke. He was a good friend of Fred Noble - who succumbed to ALS two years ago
. Fred took Bill heli-skiing to Canada several times and purchased the biSki that Bill used today - which he donated to the Meadows Adaptive Program
For more information on Meadows Adaptive Program and specialized equipment and instruction for those with special needs, visit the resort website at SkiHood.com.