Teen Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury In Tubing Incident At Lake Powell

Aug 19, 2019, 6:19 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 1:56 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah – An 18-year-old Weber County woman was hospitalized hitting her head while tubing at Lake Powell in Southern Utah.

Family members said Syracuse resident Courtney Fullmer was on vacation last Wednesday at the Kane County reservoir when she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Doctors told them her prognosis was unclear.

She was transported to the hospital in St. George for treatment. The teen’s mother, Julie Holbrook, was busy at home planning for the upcoming wedding of  another of her children when she got the call.

Holbrook immediately got in the car and made the four-and-a-half-hour drive to be by her daughter’s side.

“We thought that she had a concussion and a wipeout, and just hit her head really hard,” Holbrook said.

She said seeing her daughter fight for her life was one of the hardest trials of her life. Holbrook was with her daughter when hospital staff rushed into her room.

“Suddenly, tons of doctors and nurses filled her room,” Holbrook said. “My heart just started to pound because I knew that something was going on.”

Since then, there have been multiple complications.

“One doctor told me that she had a stroke,” Holbrook said.

Courtney has struggled with her speech and the use of the right side of her body.

“They told us she actually has bacteria in her blood,” Holbrook said.

Courtney, a once active, energetic teen has been coming to terms with the incident she barely remembers, all while being so far from home.

“I just woke up and I was here,” she said.

Although not sure about her recovery, Courtney said the support she has felt is making all the difference.

“It means so much to me,” she said.

Courtney and her family have been celebrating the little victories together, while facing a future of unknown challenges.

They all broke into applause when Courtney managed to wiggle her right shoulder.

The teen wanted everyone to know she’s a fighter and will get through whatever is to come.

“Courtney can do it, right?” Holbrook leaned over and asked her daughter.

“Yep,” Courtney replied.

The family desperately wanted to get Courtney closer to home, but first, she has to be stable enough to be moved. They expected her recovery to be long, but they’re optimistic.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family with medical expenses.

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Teen Suffers Traumatic Brain Injury In Tubing Incident At Lake Powell