FRISCO, Colo. (CBS4) – You can’t stop Dave Repsher. Everyone should know that by now.
Just in case you didn’t get the memo, Dave is marking off a return to yet another of the many activities he once owned as a super-fit Coloradan. This is a guy who laid in state of unconsciousness for five months after being burned over 90 percent of his body.
He was in a hospital for a year. He nearly died countless times, but pushed through.
Repsher was back on the slopes at Copper Mountain where he once worked ski patrol on Saturday.
“He was one of the most amazing telemark skiers you would ever see,” said his wife Amanda. Before the crash in July of 2015 that nearly killed him, Repsher was known for hiking, running, kayaking, playing hockey and as a strong skier. Friends would joke that he’d do it all the same day.
It was that kind of fitness that prepared him for the life-changing crash when the helicopter he was in went down shortly after takeoff from the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. Pilot Patrick Mahany did not survive. Repsher was thrown from the helicopter in his seat. But then the fire started as fuel poured out and ignited.
No one thought Repsher would survive. He was given powerful antibiotics that meant collateral damage to his kidneys and hearing.
“This man is unstoppable!!” wrote Matt Martinez.
Martinez was along with Dave, as he’s often been since he donated a kidney to help Dave’s recovery. The two have become close friends.
“This is one of the many reasons I donated my kidney to him… to give Dave and his and his family’s lives back. Being able to witness the healing process and growth… is still a very amazing to me,” he wrote.
“I have a good friend named Chris Padia who is still in need of a kidney,” wrote Martinez. “There are approximately 100,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list – and many people wait more than five to 10 years for a kidney from a deceased donor.”
Dave added to that, “We continue to be blessed with sharing our life and these special moments with our angelic kidney donor and newest family member Matt Martinez. Matt’s gift makes all of this possible. We would like to thank everyone who continues to stand by us and celebrate these milestones. We remain in awe of the continued support that we are so fortunate to receive and are deeply grateful.”
Repsher and Martinez pushed the Colorado legislature to change a law allowing greater leave for live organ donors. Now they’re pushing more people to sign up.