Surfer on the Long Road to Recovery After Snowboarding Accident

Brayden Belden

(Orange County Register) – This is it, Matt Belden thought as he rushed to his son’s lifeless body.

Brayden Belden had just propelled 30 feet into the sky off a massive jump while snowboarding at Mount Bachelor in Oregon. The 11-year-old landed the jump, but he was going too fast.

He caught an edge and went down hard.

“All the doctors agreed, if he didn’t have a helmet on, he would have been dead on impact,” Matt Belden said, his eyes tearing up as he recalled that fateful day on Feb. 20 during a family snowboarding trip.

When Belden got to his son, the boy was catatonic. The pupils of his eyes were unresponsive to light. There was no pulse.

Belden began CPR, breathing into his son’s mouth, until he got a faint heartbeat.

Then he waited, half an hour, maybe more, not wanting to move his son for fear that he had a spinal cord injury. Finally, a rescue team showed up and carried Brayden to a hospital in Bend, Oregon, via helicopter.

When Belden and his wife arrived at the hospital — after battling a blizzard — the doctor said Brayden had just two hours to live.

A priest wanted to speak with Belden. CONTINUE