Utah snowboarder heads home after recovering for 4 months in hospital

Posted at 6:40 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 20:40:56-04

PARK CITY, Utah -- He was a former BYU mascot, an avid snowboarder, and had dreams of becoming a lawyer when everything came to a sudden halt four months ago.

Casey Fehlberg, 30, always pushed the limit, according to his family.

The snowboarder's daring jump with a friend at Park City Mountain Resort in February nearly ended his life.

"They had taken these jumps a couple of times, he could go higher, further, do more than anyone else," said Rondo Fehlberg, Casey's father. "Of course he did, but this time it didn’t work out."

Airlifted to University of Utah Hospital, Fehlberg suffered a traumatic brain injury and slipped into a coma. Doctors didn't think he would make it through the night.

"Would Casey want to be here living this life, or would he want to pass on? Just even having that conversation was, it’s every parent’s nightmare, every sibling's nightmare," said Haylie Swenson, Casey’s sister.

Weeks later, Fehlberg showed signs of life. But the damage to his brain was so severe, he would have to endure therapy to retrain his muscles and mind.

"Physically he’s been able to climb stairs sooner than they expected," Fehlberg said.

"He’s speaking better, you can hold conversations with him," Swenson said.

With steady progress, Fehlberg takes on his latest adventure: healing at home.

"You’ll ask him, 'Casey, are you excited to go home?' And he’ll kind of give you this nervous hesitant look and say, 'I don’t know. I’m not sure I’m ready for this,'" Swenson said.

His family says they're with him every step of the way. They know his road to recovery is far from over, but they have faith he will become even stronger.

"To have him leaving the hospital at the end of a very successful rehab and headed to our home, I mean, this is amazing. It’s a miracle," Fehlberg said.

Casey has a lot of catching up to do with his extended family. They plan to throw a party in his honor this weekend as they celebrate the Fourth of July.