SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Officials at the University of Utah Medical Center say champion skier Sarah Burke has passed away.
She was 29 years old.Burke was injured on Tuesday, January 10 during a practice run
for a sponsored superpipe event at Park City Mountain Resort.Burke had been in a coma
ever since at the U of U Medical Center. On January 11, Burke underwent neurosurgery to repair a tear in one of the four major arteries to her brain.
Burke was a free-style skier from Canada. She won gold medals in the Winter X-Games and World Free Style Skiing Championships.
Her family had planned to hold a news conference on Monday, but later canceled it
On Thursday, Burke's family released the following statement regarding her passing:
"The family expresses their heartfelt gratitude for the international outpouring of support they have received from all the people Sarah touched."
Burke's ruptured vertebral artery led to a severe intracranial hemorrhage, causing Sarah to go into cardiac arrest on the scene, according a statement from the U of U Medical Center. The statement also said that emergency personnel performed CPR at the scene of the crash, but were unable revive Burke's pulse or breathing.
Hospital officials say Burke sustained severe irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after the cardiac arrest. As a result, doctors say Burke passed away "peacefully surrounded by those she loved" at 9:22 a.m. Thursday.
The hospital also indicated that in accordance with Sarah's wishes, her organs and tissues were donated to save the lives of others.
Hospital officials said that Burke's family was moved by the sincere and heartfelt sympathy expressed by people inspired by Sarah from all around the world, having received a substantial number of inquiries from those who would like to make a contribution on behalf of Sarah. Burke will be remembered as one of the greats of skiing
. For more information, please go to Sarah Burke's Give Forward donate website
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