July 10, 2012
12:46 am (Edit)
Updated by Admin 7/11/12
From Rory, her boyfriend
(Posted here from the comment section so everyone could read)
Penny (Assman, on left wearing gray) is a 34-year-old first-time racer from Salt Lake City, UT. She is a a MEDEVAC helicopter pilot and an avid mountain hiker.
Penny injuries include: Lacerated Liver, Internal Bleeding, Several Broken Ribs, MANY scrapes and bruises (right side), and gash on her forehead.
I am Penny’s boyfriend of four years; I witnessed the entire event and was fortunate to help load her on the spine board and carry her down the mountain. She was taken to Seward Hospital; Dr. Martinez, the staff, and Anchorage Volunteers (Orange Shirts!!) there did a fantastic job going to work on Penny. Due to the nature of the internal bleeding and the potential for her condition to deteriorate to a state that required surgery, they flew her to Providence Alaska Medical Center early morning on 5 July.
She and I spent five nights in the hospital. She spent the majority of her first three days sleeping; she was heavily medicated and on an ice chip only diet. By day four, she was allowed to eat a clear fluid diet, and she walked for the first time on Saturday, 7 July. From there she progressed steadily.
Penny and I were discharged just today (9 July), and she is slowly moving around with assistance. We are staying in the area as our doctor in Anchorage would like to see her once more before we fly home to Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
A few comments on the event:
All things leading up to this event were a sight to behold, and we felt very fortunate to be a part of it this year. Of course the accident was tough to stomach, but based on the speed with which Penny came down the cliffs, it could have been so much worse. We are still desperately seeking the name of a female EMT standing at the base of the Cliffs. She can be seen in photos preparing to break Penny’s fall. We truly believe she is the reason why Penny’s injuries were relatively non life-threatening. If anyone has information regarding the name of this individual, please comment on this post.
We were bummed to not see at least a DNF on the MMR website for Penny and witnessed no effort made by race organizers to check in on her condition post event. We called the Seward Chamber today to update them on her status, coordinate her timing chip turn-in, and also request to speak with someone regarding our eligibility for next year’s race (considering that Penny technically did not finish). As of current, we have not heard back from the Seward Chamber of Commerce and/or MMR event coordinators.
All that being said we already have our lodging arranged for next year and are hopeful we hear back from event organizers.