By Cameron Rasmusson
All’s well that ends well for Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad, who is back home after undergoing surgery for a relatively minor spinal injury.
Rognstad sustained the injury while skiing Sunday afternoon at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. During a run down G3, a black diamond, his ski tips caught in some heavier powder, resulting in fall at an awkward angle. When he hit the ground, Rognstad’s head hyper-extended backward, followed by an audible crack and fiery pain. Initially, the damage seemed much worse than it truly was, he said.
“Considering the kind of injury, it was the most minor I could have had,” he added.
Fortunately, fellow skiers and the Schweitzer Ski Patrol crew were quick to come to his aid. Rognstad was transported by Bonner County EMS to Bonner General Health. Doctors then determined he had fractured his C-7 vertebrae and sent him to Kootenai Health, where he had emergency surgery. He was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon. According to Rognstad, he still suffers some numbness but has no pain and is taking no medication. He and his doctors anticipate a speedy recovery.
Rognstad said he was surprised by the turn of events, especially since he is a life-long skier and wasn’t attempting anything beyond his skill level. He is grateful for the quick, professional care from Schweitzer, Bonner County and the hospital staff, and given the success of his surgery, he expects to be back at work by next week. A couple weeks wearing a neck brace should be the only lingering reminder of the accident.
“Really, the whole thing is kind of unbelievable to me,” Rognstad said.