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Chris and Nic Classick

Location, Parker, CO

In 2007, Nic was traveling on business in San Francisco. We aren’t entirely sure what happened, but we believe that he had a heart attack in the airport and fell, hitting his head on the marble floor.

Nic was in a coma for nearly five months, followed by six months of inpatient rehabilitation at Craig Hospital and a year of outpatient therapy.

From the beginning, we said that we were the luckiest people in the world to be in the unluckiest situation. It was our family and friends, and the Craig staff, who gave us the strength to go on. They wouldn’t take “we can’t do that” as an answer.

The doctors in San Francisco told us that we probably wouldn’t see Nic smile again due to the injury to his frontal lobe. Today he’s more animated and talkative than we could have expected. He works out in the PEAK Center three days a week, and we still travel and spend time with our family. Our grandkids love playing with Grandpa NicNic. Our roles have changed, and our life in retirement looks different than we thought it would, but our life together is sweet.

With the help of family and friends, we decided to set up the Nic Classick TBI Patient Assistance Fund with the Craig Hospital Foundation as a way for us to personally give back. This fund allows Craig’s clinical care managers to meet the financial needs of TBI patients and their families. We have been fortunate to have a positive outcome and are glad that we are able to help in this way.

As Nic says, it feels good to be able to help and to feel like we are part of the recovery process for other folks like us.

The Nic Classick TBI Patient Assistance Fund

Catastrophic brain and spinal cord injuries are not only physically and psychologically overwhelming, but for many Craig patients they are also financially devastating. Expenses associated with the injuries, often combined with temporary or permanent loss of income on the part of the patient and/or family members who become caregivers, can push families underwater financially.

The Nic Classick TBI Patient Assistance Fund, a subset of the general Patient Assistance Funds at the Craig Foundation, provides a safety net for patients and families whose financial means (including insurance) are inadequate to meet the financial burdens associated with a catastrophic brain injury. These funds help patients buy equipment, train caregivers, make travel arrangements, access interpretation services, receive needed medical or dental care, and meet transitional financial emergencies. Craig’s brain injury clinical care managers handle requests for support from this fund on behalf of their patients, and payments are made directly to vendors or suppliers.