Gettman travels far on road to recovery from wreck |

Gettman travels far on road to recovery from wreck

by Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Marla Gettman isn’t finished healing from the massive injuries she suffered in a car accident on Berthoud Pass last Dec. 13.

Gettman, 30, has already come a long way since the vehicle she was riding in slid off the road and into a ravine before hitting a tree. Gettman suffered a severe head injury, and broke multiple bones. She was in a coma for two weeks before she began slowly regaining consciousness the first of this year.

Now, more than nine months later, Gettman’s mother, Mary Williams, was in Glenwood Springs on Monday and reported that her daughter is making “amazing progress.

“She’s such a hard worker,” Williams said. “She’s amazingly aware, and her understanding is increasingly coming back.”

Gettman was transferred from St. Anthony’s Hospital on Jan. 7, to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital, which are both located in Denver. She left Craig on April 4, and moved home to her townhouse in Northglenn with her parents, Leo and Mary Williams, who have a home in Glenwood Springs.

The three have been living in Gettman’s townhouse since then. Gettman’s brother Mark, a hydrologist with Resource Engineering, lives in Glenwood Springs.

`Puck,’ the `snuggle bunny’

Gettman’s right elbow and arm were essentially crushed in the accident, causing it, her shoulder and arm to freeze. Williams said she will likely have surgery on her arm in the future to repair that damage.

Williams also reported Gettman’s head injury affected the part of her daughter’s brain that controls speech and understanding speech.

“But she’s becoming a lot better,” Williams said. “She’s even able to give us directions around Denver.”

Gone now is the wheelchair Gettman used to get around.

“She can go up and down stairs and she’s even been on a few hikes,” Williams said. “She goes to the store with Leo, too.”

Gettman’s cat Puck has been a welcome fixture around the house.

“He’s such a snuggle bunny,” Williams said.

`I will’

Williams said because Gettman’s physical therapy insurance has run out, Leo is spending a lot of hours working on insurance options, and “all the other benefits Marla has or doesn’t have,” Williams said.

Gettman’s parents continue to go with their daughter to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital for therapy sessions, and Williams said they do a lot of therapy at Gettman’s home as well.

Williams said Gettman looks forward to trips to Glenwood – and the Hot Springs Pool.

“It’s pretty amazing, because she can do all four strokes, even with one arm,” Williams said. “She really likes to come to Glenwood because the water’s warm and she can swim about a half a mile at a time.

“She enjoys it and she’s really good at it,” Williams said of Gettman, a former swim coach and competitive swimmer.

Along the way, it’s clear that Williams is proud of her daughter, who has gone through so much.

“A couple weeks ago, she said outright, `I will! I will!’ She’s got really good brainpower,” Williams said. “Her intellect shines through.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

To send Marla Gettman a card (her mom says she loves to get letters and cards in the mail), send to: Marla Gettman, 2274 E. 111th Dr., Northglenn, CO 80233.

You can also access Gettman’s Web site, set up by her brother, Mark Williams. That address is

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