Benefit set for injured Breck woman
BRECKENRIDGE – Gisela Weisz’s mother joined her July 28 from Argentina for a bittersweet reunion brought about by a near-fatal accident earlier in the same month.Weisz, a 12-year Summit County resident, faces up to two years of recovery after she was seriously injured when a horse fell on her at the Breckenridge Stables on Peak 9.Friends plan to hold a benefit for her on Thursday at Jalapeños Mexican Restaurant on the Riverwalk below River Mountain Lodge in Breckenridge. The irony that restaurant owner Alonso Chavez lost his wife in an equestrian accident two months ago is not lost on Weisz.”I could not even face it,” she said of her friend’s death. “I can’t believe that his wife just died falling off a horse and a month after that I almost die falling off a horse. I’ve fallen off horses I don’t know how many times and I’ve never broke anything. This time I broke so many parts of my body; I almost killed myself.”Weisz, an expert equestrian, had just begun work at the stables when the incident occurred.
“I didn’t really want to get on that horse,” Weisz said. “I used to love the challenge of a new horse, now I don’t. I’m older; I have a daughter.”But she did, on request of her boss.”We went one turn, a second turn and the third turn, he bucked so hard, so hard,” she said. “Then he reared, he hit my jaw. I was holding onto the reins and pulled him down with me.”The horse weighs about 1,500 pounds; it landed on top of Weisz.”I saw I couldn’t move my arm and I went crazy,” she said. “My teeth were somewhere else, my boss kept saying, ‘Don’t worry, everything’s going to be OK.'”Beyond that, all she remembers is the pain.Weisz suffered a punctured liver and lung, four broken bones in her neck and nerve damage from her neck, shoulder and right arm. Doctors only recently learned that her scapula was broken in the accident, as well. And they have yet to determine if the nerves that operate her right hand are permanently damaged or not.
She spent 11 days in intensive care, her aunt by her side.”Everything is going to heal, but my arm is kind of frozen and doesn’t want to work,” she said. “I really want to heal. My life is very active. I think little by little it’s doing better.”According to her friend Kathy Kralik, Weisz has been laid off from Everist Materials since February.”She has no money,” Kralik said. “It takes money to live, and she doesn’t have a dime to her name.”Once she heals, she might not be able to return to her regular source of work as a laborer. Because she’s right-handed, she can’t write or drive; her mother is learning how to drive a standard car so they can get around. Her 8-year-old daughter ties her shoelaces, helps her get dressed and opens doors for her.”She was struggling to begin with, and now this happened,” Kralik said. “Now she physically can’t work.”Weisz merely feels lucky to be alive.
“I am so, so glad to have the wonderful friends that I have,” she said. “They have helped me so much, they are doing so much for me. This accident has brought me so much joy because of my friends and family and what they’re doing for me. Sometimes you need to have something like this happen to realize the love of people. It makes me cry.”Money raised at the benefit will be used to help pay Weisz’s medical bills and care for her daughter, a third-grader at Upper Blue Elementary School.Donations can be made to the “Gisela Weisz Benefit” account at any Alpine Bank in Summit County. Kralik is accepting silent auction items at (970) 453-2276.Weisz is optimistic.”It’s all going to get better; I have faith in that,” she said. “It’s going to take a while, but I’ll live. I’m going to go back to the life I want to live.”Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or email@example.com.
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