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SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2008

VOLUME 121, NUMBER 51 • STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO • www.steamboatpilot.com

Victorian hats turn heads Tread of Pioneers staff wears period styles at party Zach Fridell

PILOT & TODAY STAFF

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

Sporting Victorian hats and dresses that looked as though they were plucked from a Jane Austen novel, the staff at the Tread of Pioneers Museum turned heads and received compliments from the large crowd at the Pioneer Day Block Party on Friday. Candice Lombardo, execu-

tive director at the museum, said the staff chose outfits from that time period to accompany the time period of the museum, itself a Victorian-era two-story house. “If the museum staff can’t be counted on to dress up in Victorian costumes for the Fourth (of July), then who can be?” she said as she handed out toys to children at the block party, an annual event

at Eighth and Oak streets. “We looked at the pictures and tried to replicate what we see.” Crowds at the block party, when not complimenting Lombardo, enjoyed “Routt beer floats” sold by the museum, lemonade and ice cream sold by the United Methodist Church, and free hot dogs distributed by the Lowell Whiteman School and St Paul’s See Pioneer, page 14A

ZACH FRIDELL/STAFF

Candice Lombardo, executive director of the Tread of Pioneers Museum, gave away toys to children during the Pioneer Day Block Party on Friday.

Index gauges Routt County

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Molly’s love for her bunny led to fateful morning

Study puts figures to quality of living Blythe Terrell

PILOT & TODAY STAFF

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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

At first blush, the factors measured by the Routt County Livability Index may seem random. Charitable giving falls under the same heading as voter turnout. Traffic congestion is a page away from water quality. But there’s a method here, project leaders pledge. The livability index was about a year in the making as four groups analyzed factors in four categories: civic, economic, environmental and social livability. The teams used existing data and compared Routt with nine other Colorado counties. The results include yards of data and provide a starting point for years of research. “The entire idea behind this was to create measurements instead of anecdotes about quality of life,” said Noreen Moore, business resource director at the Routt County Economic Development Cooperative, which spearheaded the study. The cooperative solicited volunteers from across the county for each committee. The volunteers listed the key issues of their category, figured out what to measure and how, then found and quantified the data. The groups weighted each issue in their category. The result was an overall livability ranking for Routt among the counties, as well as a ranking in each category. In those rankings, Routt was given a value of 1 to establish a baseline. The idea was to create a study that can be replicated annually, Project Manager Roger Good said. See Livability, page 14A PAGE DESIGNED BY NICOLE MILLER

Girlher &Boy

MATT STENSLAND/STAFF

Four-year-old Molly Look holds her bunny, Boy, last month at her North Routt County home. A trip to see her bunny Jan. 17, 2007, in sub-zero temperatures, quickly became a life-threating situation.

ith two turkeys, four dogs, 11 puppies, five cats, six kittens and eight hermit crabs, the Look household can be a busy place. “We’re downsizing,” says Yvette Look, the mother of four A look at Molly children, three of whom live at the ■ In the first installment Look home near of a two-part series, the Steamboat Pilot & Today Fly Gulch in the takes a look at what hapElk River Valley. pened to Molly Look of There is also North Routt on Jan. 17, Boy the bunny, who 2007 — when Molly, 4-year-old Molly then 3, walked outside of her family’s house in sub- holds on a June afternoon while zero temperatures to visit a turkey gobbles her pet bunny. ■ Next Sunday, the Pilot behind her in the & Today will tell the story family’s barn. of Molly’s recovery. On Jan. 17, 2007, Molly took an early-morning trip outside the house to visit Boy. The visit turned into a life-threatening situation when Molly found herself along a county road, her legs numb from subzero temperatures. See Molly Look, page 8A

Fires cause finale fizzle Technical problems, blazes shorten show Melinda Dudley PILOT & TODAY STAFF

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

Technical issues and a few small fires interrupted Friday night’s fireworks finale at Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs. “I’m clearly disappointed,” organizer Tim Borden said. “Decent show, and terrible finale.” Borden and his son Scott were excited for Friday’s show, billed as Steamboat’s largest ever, in which 576 fireworks were scheduled to go off at the same time during the finale. But after hundreds of pyrotechnics lit up the night skies over Howelsen, a muted, erratic finale left many spectators wondering what cut the display short. The fireworks are set off electronically. Borden said he is unsure exactly what went wrong Friday, but that when the finale was cued, the fireworks just didn’t go off. Small fires at Mile Run, one of the four launch sites during Friday night’s fireworks show, also prevented some fireworks from firing correctly — and the flames themselves set off additional fireworks out of sequence, Borden said. The fireworks at two other launch sites failed to go off at all during the finale, Borden said. “Most people that know the kind of show we put on realized there was a problem,” Borden said. “I pretty much prided myself in having a great finale, and this pretty much was not.” See Fireworks, page 12A

High school going wireless Upgrades bringing podcasts, students’ laptops, district server Zach Fridell PILOT & TODAY STAFF

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

In previous years, Steamboat Springs School District technology staff had to travel to schools and touch each computer to update software. Now, thanks to a serverbased model implemented this summer, updates need only occur at one central location and will be applied to every computer on the district’s

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server space. By placing the software on the servers, students also will be able to access the programs they need from home. Additional technology updates this summer will bring the district to the forefront of American schools in the way technology is delivered, with classes available by podcast, server-based programs and wireless Internet at Steamboat Springs High School. The creation of a wireless network throughout the high

school will allow students to bring their laptops to school and connect to their files stored on district servers. “Since I’ve come to town the question that I’ve been asked all the time is, ‘When can I bring my child’s laptop to school?’” said Tim Miles, the district’s technology director. To ensure security of the disZACH FRIDELL/STAFF trict’s servers, students will enter Steamboat Springs School District Technology Director Tim Miles, back left, the network through a district speaks with Senior Network Systems Engineer Dave Holloway as students prepare computers for server-based software. See Upgrades, page 12A

OUTSIDE

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Steamboat Pilot & Today • Sunday, July 6, 2008

LOCAL

Yvette Look, left, 9-year-old Kady, middle, and 4-year-old Molly look through hundreds of cards and letters that Molly received after the 2007 accident.

MATT STENSLAND/STAFF

The Look family reflects on near tragedy W

hen Kathleen Fitzsimmons drove past a young girl wearing just a shirt sitting on a snowbank along Routt County Road 52E, the child was beyond pain. She wasn’t crying. “This really does not look right at all,” Fitzsimmons said earlier this month, recollecting that morning more than a year ago. Fitzsimmons was running late for work because the pipes in her home had frozen over night. “Where is everyone? Where’s her mom? Where’s the car?” she thought at first. She picked up the STORY BY child, who was about MATT STENSLAND 1/4 mile away from the nearest house, and looked her over. The girl’s hands were swollen and the only colors in her face were two rosy dots on her cheeks. “I thought she was an abuse case, that someone had abandoned her,” Fitzsimmons said. “I didn’t know what to think. It went from innocently going to work, to major trauma.” Holding the child in her arms, Fitzsimmons began driving the 10 miles south toward Steamboat Springs. “Police or hospital?” Fitzsimmons asked herself. “I didn’t know. I was confused.” The girl’s body was stiff. She was blinking but silent. Within the first mile of the drive, the girl uttered “mommy” twice and again went silent. “I just gave her lots of love and attention and told her everything was going to be all right,” said Fitzsimmons, who never had children of her own. Halfway to Steamboat Springs, the girl drew her legs and arms into a fetal position and wedged her feet between Fitzsimmons’ thighs. Fitzsimmons considered it a good sign. She called 911 and told them she was bringing the girl to the hospital. Fitzsimmons carried the girl into the emergency room at Yampa Valley Medical Center and told staff she had found the child on the side of the road. “Their jaws dropped,” Fitzsimmons said. Fitzsimmons wrapped the girl in warm blankets, and they waited a couple of minutes in admission before the girl was taken in back for treatment. About 10 minutes later, Fitzsimmons learned the parents of the girl had been found. It appeared 3-year-old Molly Look had chosen the coldest day of the winter to wander away from home. “I was still under the impression this was an abuse case,” Fitzsimmons said. “It was a hard sell. I was just like ‘how does this happen?’ I couldn’t swallow it.”

SUNDAY FOCUS

The search Del Look woke up early that morning and made his three girls a big breakfast while Molly’s mother, Yvette, was still in bed sick. Before leaving to take Lexy and Kady to school in Steamboat, Del told Molly to go see mom. Pulling out of the driveway, Del noticed the thermometer on his truck read 28 degrees below zero. He explained to the girls how dangerously cold it was, “and if they got caught up in something like this, they would freeze to death.” When Yvette woke up, she went to brush her teeth and started calling for Molly. Hide and seek was a popular game with Molly, and Yvette did an extensive search of the house before trying to call Del. “I said ‘I don’t have her,’” Del said. “It was just a panic from then on.” Yvette enlisted the help of her parents as well as one of the Look’s dogs. “I just opened the door and said ‘Moses, find Molly.’” Moses went to the barn and came out carrying one of Molly’s pink cowboy boots in his mouth. Del returned to the house and searched the area on a snowmobile. Yvette headed down the driveway a few hundred yards. When Yvette’s parents arrived, Yvette was holding Molly’s ripped tights in her hand. She had found them on a barbed-wire fence. A neighbor, Vicky Jones, called the Routt County Sheriff’s office for help and was told a little girl had been found and taken to the hospital. “Del just fell into a snowbank crying,” when he heard Molly had been found, recalled Yvette’s mother, Bonnie Printy. A Routt County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the house, and Yvette rode with the deputy to the hospital. “I was bawling, sobbing in the car,” Yvette said. She knew only that Molly was alive and doctors were working on her.

Severe hypothermia The emergency room staff had no idea what had happened to Molly before she arrived at the hospital. They also did not know her identity, even though some of the nurses would likely have recognized Molly — Yvette once worked at the hospital — had Molly not chopped off her hair in the fall to look like Tinker Bell. She clearly was cold and had obvious frostbite on her fingers and toes. “We had to warm her, and that was the core issue,” said Dr. David Cionni. They used warming blankets and fed Molly warm air. A needle put into her tibia supplied warm fluids. For the first 30 minutes, Molly did not make any noise. She was awake and

occasionally would make eye contact. Her body temperature was 81 degrees. “I’ve never seen someone that cold survive,” said Cionni, who has been an emergency medicine physician at YVMC for 15 years. “I’ve never seen someone that cold.” Molly’s condition quickly improved. After talking to police to explain the situation, the first thing Yvette heard when she arrived at the hospital was Molly crying. “You don’t like to hear your kids screaming, but it was like music to my ears just to hear that she’s alive, kicking and screaming and she had fight in her,” Yvette said. “I want to go home,” Molly told her mother. Bonnie Printy sat beside Molly and told her “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” the children’s story, to comfort her and divert her attention. “Molly would respond and say part of the story,” Yvette said. Once Molly’s body temperature increased, the concern shifted to the frostbite. Her hands and feet were a bluish red and had started to swell. Doctors decided to airlift Molly to The Children’s Hospital in Denver for treatment. The next 12 days at Children’s were a waiting game. Del and Yvette would take turns sleeping next to Molly in her hospital bed, not knowing what parts of her hands and toes would survive. Blisters grew 1 to 2 inches high, and the risk of infection was severe. “Never in my worst nightmare did I think frostbite was that bad,” Del said. “I think the worst part was watching her go through the pain.”

‘I almost died’ While at Children’s, Molly shared some of the details of that morning with her mother her grandmother Printy, who she called Mema. Molly walked out the back door of the house, headed for the barn to see Boy. Molly had trouble getting the pen’s door open and got cold, so she took off her boots and put her feet under some hay. Then she got hungry and decided she would walk to her grandmother’s house for a sugar cookie — more than a mile down the county road. “Mema, I was on my way to your house,” Molly said. “I needed a bandage and cookies.” Her legs stopped working after walking about a quarter mile. “I was so mad because I just wanted to go to (Grandma’s), and I didn’t want to die,” Molly said to her mother. “I almost died.” “To hear those words come out of that kid’s mouth, it just shakes you to the core,” Yvette said.

MATT STENSLAND/STAFF

Kathleen Fitzsimmons lives down the road from the Looks and found Molly in a snowbank on her way to work. Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall later presented Fitzsimmons a heroine award for her “presence of mind” to pick Molly up and take her to the hospital, saving Molly’s life.

MATT STENSLAND/STAFF

David Cionni, an emergency medicine physician who has been at Yampa Valley Medical Center for 15 years, was one of the doctors who cared for Molly. “It was a situation that really put us to the test, and it was gratifying to see how quickly the emergency department team was able to rally around the sick little girl and create a situation that saved her life,” Cionni said.


WHITEWATER RUN DEVELOPMENT WOULD TRANSFORM YAMPA FRONTAGE | REAL E STATE 1C $1.00

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SUNDAY, JULY 13, 2008

VOLUME 121, NUMBER 52 • STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO • www.steamboatpilot.com

By land and sky

One hurt in crash at Azteca Woman taken to hospital after car strikes building Melinda Dudley PILOT & TODAY STAFF

Rainbow Weekend thrills thousands with art, Balloon Rodeo Melinda Dudley PILOT & TODAY STAFF

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

For Steamboat Springs native Michelle Wilkie, Art in the Park is a family must-have during a summer return to the Yampa Valley. Wilkie, her children in tow, MATT STENSLAND/STAFF Balloons fill the sky Saturday during the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort picked up two photographic Association’s 28th annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo. prints of the historic More Barn

at Saturday’s art festival, which continues today at West Lincoln Park. She wanted to memorialize the familiar sight before further development at the new Barn Village at Steamboat neighborhood changes the surrounding landscape. “I remember driving past it all the time when I was a little girl,” said Wilkie, who now ranches on the Eastern Plains near Limon.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

Witnesses named for court proceeding Brandon Gee

PILOT & TODAY STAFF

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

See Crash, page 12A

Molly Look, 4, is recovering from a walk outside in sub-zero temperatures last year that cost her nearly all the fingers on her right hand.

Molly on the mend

John Moreno Gonzales THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW ORLEANS

Between acres of aboveground tombs that are this marshy city’s way to inter the dead, there is a strip of land that is an empty tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Unknown to most in town, including the relatives of those who died in the storm, it is the chosen site for a memorial to an estimated 1,600 fatalities and will serve as the resting place for 85 bodies that remain unclaimed nearly three years after the disaster. During a second-anniversary ceremony, Mayor Ray Nagin shed a tear, gave $1 million in taxpayer money to the project, and delegated management to a city coroner intent on a monument that would double as a warning to be better prepared for the next hurricane. “This is an example of the dead helping the living,” said New Orleans Parish Coroner Frank Minyard. “The underprivileged African-American community suffered worst in this storm, and we have to make sure for the next storm that it doesn’t happen See Memorial, page 12A PAGE DESIGNED BY CHRISTOPHER WOYTKO

See Rainbow, page 14A

Wall trial to begin Monday

A Georgia woman was injured Saturday afternoon when she was struck by a car while sitting outside Azteca Taqueria on Ninth Street. An elderly man driving a Honda Pilot with New Mexico plates jumped the curb as he was pulling into a diagonal parking space at about 2:45 p.m., plowing into the woman and the Azteca building, Steamboat Springs police Officer Stuart Hutton said at the scene. Crushed flowerpots and broken sidewalk posts roping off mangled outdoor tables littered the sidewalk on Ninth Street. No one else was injured. The injured woman was transported via ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center. The woman, who was eating at Azteca with family, had moved to another table to make a cell phone call, said her aunt, who did not wish to be named. The injured woman was struck by the front right side of the vehicle, she said.

Katrina memorial delayed

“This is home.” The Steamboat Springs Art Council, which organizes Art in the Park, was expecting about 10,000 people to attend the event. Indeed, seats in the shade were hard to come by Saturday, as thousands perused everything including fine artwork, sculpture, artisan jewelry and hand-painted

S

ince Jan. 17, 2007, every day of Molly Look’s life has been about accomplishments, big and small. With snow still covering the playground at the Child Development Center in Steamboat Springs early this spring, Molly could be found, as is typical, playing on a swing dressed in her snow clothes, without gloves. “Look,” Molly, now 4, shouted while pumping her legs to soar as high as she could. “I can hold on with my hands.” Peggy Frias, Molly’s occupational ther-

SUNDAY FOCUS

A look at Molly

STORY AND PHOTOS BY MATT STENSLAND apist, smiled at Molly from the sidewalk. “It surprised herself how she could hold on,” Frias said. “She likes doing stuff for herself, and always has, and now is just learning to do it with what she has to work with.”

July 6: In the first installment of a two-part series, the Steamboat Pilot & Today described what happened to Molly Look of North Routt on Jan. 17, 2007, when Molly, then 3 years old, walked outside of her family’s house in sub-zero temperatures to visit her pet bunny. Today: The story of Molly’s recovery and ongoing therapy, as she copes with injuries including the loss of nearly all the fingers on her right hand. For video, see www.steamboatpilot.com

See Molly Look, page 10A

Super grandmothers and life lessons Students share stories of older role models in essay contest Margaret Hair

PILOT & TODAY STAFF

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

After they shared personal stories and memories of older people who have impacted their lives, four Steamboat Springs students received heartfelt gratitude from their elderly audience. Those who had been eating lunch Friday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center filed up to the students, thanking them for their appreciation

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for older role models and for sharing their thoughts. “I just like writing. I just enjoyed it because I got a chance to write, and we didn’t get to do much writing in school this year,” said rising Steamboat Springs Middle School seventh-grader Ben Wharton, who wrote about his outdoor-sports-loving grandfather. “He taught me how to ski, and that’s a big part of my life, so he’s been important to my life,” Wharton said.

The essay contest encouraged local middle and high school students to submit pieces of 500 to 2,000 words acknowledging a positive older role model. The contest was meant to celebrate Older Americans Month in May, said event organizer and Aging Well Routt County Senior Outreach Coordinator Teresa Wright. “The goal simply was just to get kids to write about someone who was a positive older See Seniors, page 12A

OUTSIDE

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Abundant sunshine. High of 81.

LAST WEEK: Should the city expand its urban growth boundary to enable development of a neighborhood on the north side of Emerald Mountain? Results/5A

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Steamboat Springs High School student Mirko Erspamer reads an essay about his grandfather as part of an essay contest Friday.

DELIVERY PROBLEM?

THIS WEEK: Is increasing recreational use damaging the Yampa River and its ecosystem?

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The jury trial of Sheriff Gary Wall begins Monday at the Routt County Justice Center, and Wall himself is on a list of potential witnesses who could defend the county’s top law enforcement officer against charges that he drove drunk nine months ago. Steamboat Springs attorney Ron Smith, Wall’s lawyer, specifically named 30 witnesses who may be called during the threeday trial, which begins with jury selection at 8:30 a.m. Monday. Smith’s Rule 16 Disclosure also lists the nature of Wall’s defense as “general denial.” With some overlap with Smith’s list, the prosecution’s Rule 16 Disclosure names 24 potential witnesses. Special prosecutors Karen Romeo and Anne Francis of Eagle County are prosecuting the case. Smith’s witnesses are Wall; Lauren and Bill Hamil; Linda and David Cullen; Win and Elaine Dermody; Steamboat Springs City Clerk Julie Jordan; Ren and Heather Martyn; Cam Boyd; Lisa and Tom Douglas; former Steamboat Springs City Councilman Paul Strong; Rachael Shiebler; Jeffrey Dean Johnson; Eric and Kathy Steinberg; Diane Townes; Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies Lance Eldridge and Mark Mackey; former City Council President Susan Dellinger; Pres Plumb; Kris Dodd; Betse Grassby; Sandy Evans Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association; former Sheriff’s Office Deputy Elise Andres; Andres’ husband, Jim Hinton; Wall’s wife, Jenny Wilson; and Timothy Rison. David Cullen is a friend of Wall’s who attended the Oct. 27, 2007, Chamber centennial celebration at Sidney Peak Ranch. Wall was returning home from See Wall, page 14A

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Steamboat Pilot & Today • Sunday, July 13, 2008

Molly pets her basset hound, Daisy May Valentine, at the Look home in North Routt County. The family got the dog after Molly’s accident to help with her recovery.

Molly showing self-confidence in recovery D

uring Molly’s nearly two-week stay at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, it became apparent frostbite was going to claim some of her fingers and possibly toes, but doctors did not know how many. Molly had been subjected to temperatures as low as 28 degrees below zero for possibly half an hour when she wandered away from home on the coldest day of the 2006-07 Sulentich winter, before being found by a neighbor driving to work. With a body temperature of 82 degrees, Molly nearly died. Molly’s mother, Yvette, took pictures of the injuries the first night and sent them to family friend Dr. Fitzsimmons Scott Sulentich, a plastic surgeon in Steamboat. “The pictures were dramatic,” Sulentich recalled in June. “They were bad.” Once Molly was stable, she was released from the Denver hospital to be cared for by Sulentich and Dr. Jeanne Fitzsimmons, another close friend of the Look family. “I knew Molly would do better and the family would be better if they were home,” Sulentich said. Even at home, the horrific event was still fresh to Molly, who was heavily medicated for the pain and essentially isolated from people to prevent infection. Molly panicked anytime she could not see her mom or dad. “I couldn’t even go to the kitchen,” Yvette said. “She would just flip. Pure hysteria. It was absolute fear and terror.” Every night was equally scary, with Molly reliving the horrific event in her dreams and feeling the pain. “She’d wake up scared and screaming,” Yvette said. “At one point it was so horrific we had oral morphine we were giving her. It was (about) holding her 24/7 and trying to get her to eat.” Molly went from weighing 34 pounds to 24 pounds. “It was like picking up a doll,” Yvette said.

Facing the community While Yvette was caring for Molly at home, Del Look, Molly’s father, attended a Feb. 6, 2007, spaghetti dinner benefiting Molly at the old Steamboat Springs Community Center. “I didn’t want to go,” Del said. “I was embarrassed about the whole thing. I was embarrassed she got hurt.” The parking lots were filled with

cars when Del arrived. Yvette were somewhat relieved. “I remember walking, you just have “We were afraid we were going to that lump in your throat and tears lose who she was,” Yvette said. “We in your eyes,” said Del, a Steamboat didn’t lose any of that, which we’re native. “It was nothing short of amaz- really thankful for.” ing. It makes you realize Molly quickly adapted, that Steamboat still has Sulentich said. “She just assumes that small-town atmoHe recalled seeing Molly sphere. The community is in the waiting room immeshe’ll do things the diately after a surgery, holstill intact.” other kids do, and ding a bag of crackers. More than $75,000 was she does. She’s full “I was just about to ask raised to help pay more of self confidence. her if she wanted me to than $100,000 in medical She’s just like a ray open it,” but she opened bills for Molly. it herself, Sulentich said. “As much as we needed of sunshine when “I looked at Yvette and it and appreciated it, it she comes in the said ‘see.’ It was apparent was hard,” Yvette said. room. She’s always right then that she was “It’s so hard to let people happy and cheery. going to be fine.” know how appreciative we are because a simple thank It must be who she ‘Exceptional’ you isn’t enough.” always was.” Although most people Audrey Zwak, a longwere supportive, there were time Look family friend Nancy Perricone some who felt Molly had and preschool director at Molly’s former teacher been neglected by her parChristian Heritage School, ents, even after the Routt remembers the day Molly County Sheriff’s Office found no evi- came back to preschool at Christian dence of neglect and determined it was Heritage with her new hands. an unfortunate accident. “I got my bandages off, ta-da,” “There is a small group of people Molly said as she raised her arms to who actually still think that I should be show her classmates. put in jail,” Yvette said. “We would say ‘your hands look The Sheriff’s Office noted there wonderful Molly, they’re so pretty,’ and had been “slight miscommunication” she’d just smile,” Zwak said. “That’s between the parents about who had not normal. That’s exceptional.” Molly that morning. Zwak said she was overwhelmed “I know there are some people when Molly returned to school. out there that don’t understand how “We have children that get a bump it could happen,” Del said. “I never on their knee and for the whole rest of thought it could happen to us.” the day, the day’s ruined, and she just never thinks like that,” Zwak said. All not lost Molly was not shy and did not try to Molly’s bandages had to be changed hide her injuries. Sometimes Molly would every other day for six weeks after the even draw attention to them by painting accident, with doctors Sulentich and the fingernails she did have pink. Fitzsimmons volunteering their time. Molly’s classmates were curious She was sedated and felt no pain dur- about her hands, but she would explain ing the procedures, but her parents did. it simply: “I went outside, it was really “I stopped going because I just had cold, my hands got hurt real bad.” to tell myself at one point I have to deal While playing with Play-Doh, Molly with the end result,” Del said. once explained her finger situation to Looking at the wounds, it was still Zwak. unclear what fingers and toes Molly “I don’t know where they are, I can’t would lose. get them back, and this is how they’re “You get your hopes up for some- going to be,” Molly told her. thing, and you come back three days later, and you look at it, and you’re just A ray of sun so depressed,” he added. In addition to preschool at Christian After four surgeries to remove dead Heritage, Molly was enrolled last school tissue and repair the damage, Molly year in the Steamboat Springs School was feeling better and was off the District’s early childhood program, where heavy pain medications. She was left she received occupational therapy. There were 12 children in her class, with half a thumb on her dominant right hand. On her left, she had her three of whom also were missing body thumb, middle and ring fingers. Her parts. “It kind of created a bond between right big toe also fell off, but Del and

Molly discovers she can hold on to a swing with both her hands.

those girls,” said Nancy Perricone, who taught Molly’s class and has a background in occupational therapy. When Molly realizes she needs to do things differently, she finds a way. “She’s able to do pretty much everything a kid at this age would be expected (to do),” said Frias, adding she thinks Molly will develop normally, needing minimal adaptive tools. “She identifies when she does need help and she’ll request it, but other than that, she doesn’t like being separated out,” Frias said. Molly’s dexterity surprises most people, including her grandmother Bonnie Printy, who Molly calls “Mema.” Just last month, Printy watched as Molly undid the clasp on a necklace. “I said I’d be glad to do it, and she

said ‘I can do it Mema.’” Printy said Molly does not dwell on having lost her fingers, but she does miss them, and recently shared with her grandmother some regret: “I wish sometimes it didn’t happen, and I had my fingers back.” But Perricone described Molly as self-confident and said she doesn’t worry about not being able to do things. “She just assumes she’ll do things the other kids do, and she does,” Perricone said. “She’s full of self confidence. She’s just like a ray of sunshine when she comes in the room. She’s always happy and cheery. It must be who she always was.” — To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4247 or e-mail mstensland@steamboatpilot.com.


Steamboat Pilot & Today • Sunday, July 13, 2008

Molly, right, and her friend Margaret Redfern, 4, wait to have their pictures taken at Rocky Mountain Dance.

Yvette helps Molly put a shoe on one of her dolls. Molly looks in the mirror while washing her hands at Christian Heritage School.

Occupational therapist Peggy Frias watches Molly shape a clay bowl.

Christian Heritage School preschool teacher Erin Schroeder helps Molly put on her mittens before going outside for recess. Molly paints at the Child Development Center.

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Molly Look  
Molly Look  

Recalling Molly Look's tragic accident and looking at her recovery

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