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September 07, 2016

Craig Dad gives back in honor of his daughter

It was a call that no parent ever wants to receive. Guy Decrescenzo’s daughter Lauren, a professional cyclist, had been in a crash during a race in California. It was bad.

“I received a call from her coach telling me that she was being airlifted and that I needed to get to California quickly,” says Decrescenzo. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

Once he arrived at the hospital, he was told that Lauren had a fractured skull, ligament damage to her neck, a broken vertebra, a broken hand, and worst of all, a traumatic brain injury. She was in an induced coma for five days, and remained in the ICU for three weeks.

“When she woke up, she didn’t know anyone, it was heart wrenching, it was terrible,” says Decrescenzo.

Lauren’s doctors recommended that she be discharged to a facility in California, but Decrescenzo, a manager at AT&T in Denver, had always heard about Craig Hospital. “It was always on my radar, and I knew about it because that’s where athletes go.”

After he inquired about admission, one of Craig’s nursing liaisons traveled to the hospital in California to evaluate Lauren.

“A weight lifted off of our shoulders when she walked in,” he says. “Until then I had no idea where we were going or how we were going to get her there.”

While at Craig, Lauren made great strides in her recovery.

“She was walking 25 miles a day around Craig,” he says. “She was used to doing 60-75 miles a day during her training, so 25 miles was nothing. It kept her calm.”

After six weeks of rehab at Craig, Lauren discharged. According to Decrescenzo, she has fully recovered physically and continues to work on her organizational skills and short term memory. She is living in Colorado and might attend graduate school in the future.

“Lauren’s an overachiever on steroids, but this injury has really affected her. Life is just so much more important to all of us now.”

In recognition of Craig’s impact on his family’s life, Decrescenzo arranged for Craig to be the beneficiary of the 2016 AT&T charity golf tournament on September 26. The "Swing Away for Craig Hospital Charity Golf Tournament,” will be held at The Broadlands Golf Club in Broomfield, Colorado. All proceeds will benefit the Craig Hospital Foundation.

“The world needs more places like Craig,” he says. “From the first day at Craig to the last, I wasn’t treated like an outsider.

“I knew I had to give something back to that place.”

For more details and to register for the tournament event, please visit the tournament website.

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