Bevins’ death prompts outpouring of gratitude |

Bevins’ death prompts outpouring of gratitude

Dr. Bill Bevins
Staff Photo | Grand River Health

The death of longtime Garfield County emergency room doctor Bill Bevins prompted an outpouring of gratitude from people who encountered him during rough moments in their lives — when they or loved ones needed his services.

“Thanks for saving my life and my bro’s!” Tyler Wolfe wrote on the Post Independent Facebook page.

Bevins, 59, fell and hit his head on a rock while hiking the Grizzly Creek Trial east of Glenwood Springs on Monday, Garfield County Coroner Rob Glassmire reported Wednesday. Bevins was hiking with his wife, Jan.

Bevins, an avid outdoorsman who lived in New Castle, had worked in the Grand River Health emergency room in Rifle since 2013, and previously worked in the ER at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Spring from 1994 to 2006. In between, he worked overseas, including in Kenya and Central Asia, fulfilling his Christian passion for helping people in developing countries, including war-torn Afghanistan.

Annick Pruett, administrative director at Grand River, said emergency rooms such as Grand River’s and Valley View’s are critical in the “golden hour” immediately after an accident, such as on Interstate 70 or Highway 82.

These ERs “are the only thing between life and death to get them stabilized before they can get to a Level 1 trauma center” at a bigger hospital, Pruett said.

Bevins’ death, she said, “leaves a really empty footprint in the valley. He had such an impact on so many people between the two hospitals.”

Among them was Brian Mcnamara.

“He was a great doctor and a great man, sewed me up many times. Huge loss,” Mcnamara posted.

In a follow-up note, Mcnamara said, “This man tended to me at least 10 times in my 20 years of rugby in Glenwood, probably 50 sutures and a broken jaw. I got to be on a first-name basis. Dr. Bill always the best care and a laugh at my expense.”

Lesalex Campos posted, “You [were] an angel on earth. Thanks for your care to my daughter, for your attention and patience … Rest in peace, awesome man.”

Melissa Miller, ministry and communications coordinator at The Orchard in Carbondale, said in an email, “I first met Dr. Bevins at the VVH ER after I had been up all night with my then-10-year-old daughter suffering a horrible ear infection. His compassion and kindness was unparalleled. I couldn’t believe how gentle and kind he was and how much time he spent with us for such a mundane ‘emergency.’”

Miller said it was the summer of 2001, and she called the ER at about 5 a.m. to see how busy it was.

“Bill was insistent that I bring her in,” she recalled. “Part of what I remember most about that visit was his sense of humor despite the situation. When he came in to explain the prescription and that it should ‘knock her right out’ so she could get some rest, I teased and said, ‘And what are you giving me, I’ve been up all night too.’ He laughed and said, ‘You get to sleep when she gets to sleep.’”

Then, about 12 years later, Miller encountered Bevins again in her work at The Orchard through a network of local pastors called Ski Country Pastors.

“To hear Dr. Bevins speak about his love of God and of people and his desire to serve in the mission field was humbling and compelling,” she wrote in an email to the PI. “I’ve never met another person like Bill. His dedication and love and desire to bring Jesus to the nations will be greatly missed. His loss will not only be felt in the Roaring Fork Valley but all over the world.”

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