By Mitch Holt, Staff Writer
Cody Veteto freshman journalism major from Tulsa, Okla., is recovering and responsive in St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver but had been in an incommunicable state at for more than a month with his parents waiting and praying by his side.
He was snowboarding on Feb. 25 with Scott Morrison, freshman electronic media major from Universal City, during the advanced skiing class trip in Winter Park, Colo. Wearing the helmet and protective gear that saved his life, Veteto ran into a tree.
“At first I thought he had just slid into the tree,” Morrison said. “But as I got closer I saw blood around the tree and I knew it was serious. I pulled his face back from the tree and it was covered in blood.”
Morrison said he knew not to lay the injured student on his back because it would have kept him from breathing properly, so he maneuvered Veteto to his side and screamed to a passing skier for help.
The skier happened to spot a paramedic at the top of the hill and brought him to the accident scene. From there, the unconscious Veteto was brought to the local emergency clinic where he was placed on a ventilator, and his parents were called; shortly after, he was flown to the hospital in Denver.
A month and three days later, Veteto now reacts to his name, occasionally turns his head and makes eye contact.
Ken Veteto, Cody’s father, said last weekend was a turning point for his son. He had successful emergency surgery Sunday to fix a leak from the incision where his feeding tube goes, and he’s been more alert since then.
“Many people have ministered to us in so many ways,” Ken Veteto said. “People are anticipating our needs, and I don’t know what we would have done without our friends and family.”
The Veteto family members said they have been amazed by the support they’ve received during Cody’s recovery.
Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla., dedicated Sunday and Monday to 48 hours of prayer for the student’s recovery, and after Park Plaza church’s collective prayer time was complete, Lakewood Church of Christ in Lakewood, Colo., entered a 24-hour time of prayer, which will last until midnight Wednesday.
Gaye Ribble, close Veteto family friend, is organizing prayer chains like those of the Park Plaza and Lakewood churches to keep Christians all over the country in constant prayer for the freshman’s recovery, and ACU is currently her main target.
Ribble said she wants to get the university involved in the prayer chain effort in a weeklong time of prayer, and she is in the process of putting this effort together. She pictures ACU students signing up for shifts that cover an entire week and every minute on the clock.
“This whole ordeal has shown us that the contact of extended Christian family is a powerful tool,” Ribble said. She said that the Vetetos are comforted by the idea that someone is in constant prayer for Cody’s recovery.