CHICO, Calif. -- Becky Quigley, a 23-year-old Hotshot Firefighter, is in a Chico hospital where she battles a different kind of fight than the 23-year-old Weed resident is accustomed.
Instead of fighting fires, Quigley now fights to recover from injuries that nearly killed her when a water-tender truck inadvertently drove over Quigley -- twice -- on Sept. 21.
Sue Tavalero, a family friend who's helped organize an upcoming fundraiser in Becky Quigley's name, explained what happened that night. She said Quigley had fought fires all that day, then returned to camp that evening to rest.
"She was sleeping in her sleeping bag in the sleeping area of the camp," said Tavalero.
"A water truck was driving by after emptying the gray water from the shower units and was turning around and ran over her. The driver got out and looked to see what he had bumped, did not see anything and backed over her. He looked again and heard her moaning in her sleeping bag."
Tavalero said Quigley was flown to Enloe Hospital in Chico where she remains with five cracked vertebrae, nine or 10 broken ribs, a broken shoulder, a cracked skull and collapsed lungs.
"She is truly a miracle," said Tavalero.
"She just got off the ventilator and is breathing on her own some -- she has a tracheotomy. She is still in the Trauma ICU at Enloe and will probably be there for awhile."
Tavalero said Quigley's younger siblings -- Heather, Chelsea and Brian -- have traveled back and forth between Weed and Chico to see their sister since her accident. Their parents, Darin and Nancy, have been by Becky's side since the accident.
Tavalero said a "Friends of Becky Quigley" account is now open at Scott Valley Bank in Weed for those who'd like to help by covering expenses.
Also, on Oct. 17 a fundraiser dinner will be held in Quigley's honor at the Sons of Italy Hall in Weed. (See below for details.)
Meanwhile, Quigley continues her physical and respiratory therapy. She dreams of the day when she can resume saving money so can buy a house. She looks forward to elk hunting, and working again as a ski and snowboard instructor.
She's growing stronger each day, and on Friday she even posted a message on the CarePages site (to view site type in "Becky Quigley" for the search).
Here's an excerpt: (Posted Oct 9, 2009 7:13pm) Hi All! They have me using the computer for pt today! It's still quite a workout to type! This time I wanted to say a special thanks to all my friends and people that have been posting! Your postings have been very encouraging and a good way for me to feel as though I've left the hospital! . . . Also, thanks everyone for all the continued support of my family, they need it just as much as me! TTYL! -Becky
More information: The Wildland Firefighter Foundation has been taking care of the family. Donations can be made to the Foundation either online or at 2049 Airport Way, Boise, ID, 83705 in Becky Quigley's name.
Republished with permission of ANewsCafe.com.