DENVER (CBS4) – She was the most challenging case ever in the UCHealth Burn Center. Jamie Ketchum was so badly burned, she was hospitalized for 425 days.
In May, she showed us how she’s practicing to throw out the first pitch at an upcoming Colorado Rockies game.
Recently, we found Jamie golfing at the 10th Annual UCHealth Burn Center Golf Tournament. “Can’t” isn’t in this amazing woman’s vocabulary.
The tournament was held June 14, at Arrowhead Golf Course.
It was a beautiful day in a stunning setting. The golfers were playing to support burn survivors by helping to provide twice monthly support groups, a peer support program and basic needs in the first few days following the injury.
This year, the field at Arrowhead included the Burn Center’s number one fan, Jamie Ketchum.
“They saved my life. They saved mom’s life. I feel forever grateful for them,” Jamie told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Two years ago on May 25, Jamie’s father died in a fiery crash on Interstate 25. Her mother was badly burned. Jamie’s burns covered 95% of her body. She was the burn center’s worst case ever. Jamie lost an arm and both legs.
“The world isn’t built for somebody without legs and an arm, but I feel like we’re finding ways to make it work for us,” Jamie said.
On this day, Jamie found a sweet ride, an adaptive golf cart that allowed her to stand up and play. A club was fastened to her arm. She was putting for teams on the 18th green and being enthusiastically congratulated as she made one putt after another.
The golf was great, but the day was also about gratitude.
“Thank you,” whispered Jamie, choking up as she hugged Angela Rice, a Denver paramedic.
This was the first time Jamie met Rice and Paul Casler, the paramedics who rushed her to the hospital on the day of the accident.
“I didn’t expect her to survive,” said Casler.
“She’s amazing, like, I just feel happier standing here after meeting her,” said Rice.
Jamie calls the pair her heroes.
“The real heroes are the people who took care of her over 400 days and got her to this point,” said Casler.
When you meet Jamie you realize quickly that she is not just surviving, but thriving.
She’ll throw out the first pitch at the Colorado Rockies game on July 15. Jamie says archery is next. She hopes to find a way to play volleyball and ride a bicycle.