By Alan Gionet
FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4) – They were powerful steps, not taken lightly.
Dave Repsher has been through the most painful of treatments — for burns. This week, he walked out of a hospital to go home after more than a year of inpatient treatment.
Repsher is the Flight For Life nurse who barely survived the crash of a helicopter near the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center on Fourth of July weekend last year. The helicopter, with a mechanical problem, lifted off, then crashed only a few feet away.
A lawsuit by the families claims the helicopter had a malfunction in its tail rotor. Repsher was burned over 90 percent of his body.
The crash killed pilot Patrick Mahany. One other nurse was on board, Matt Bowe. His injuries were less severe than Repsher’s and he’s returned to work.
The battle to overcome the damage from burns has been a daily fight. His wife Amanda has been by his side. Repsher is a hero in the community; known for the many times he helped others. He has a reputation as a tough guy, burnished by his love of the outdoors and hockey.
The community gave back. Fundraising efforts in the community to help Repsher and his wife brought in money. A hockey tournament run by the charity Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation at Copper Mountain early this year brought in more.
Repsher’s medical issues are not resolved, but he’s home. He and Amanda walked out of the hospital hand-in-hand.
Repsher did it under his own power.