How the Song ‘Just Breathe’ Saved Andy Wirth from Death


Andy Wirth counts himself lucky to have survived in the skydiving accident. The weather on that fateful day was windy and this situation made him confused about the expected landing area. When he opened his chute, he missed the landing spot and landed in a vineyard that had steel posts and wires that caused trauma to his right hand.
After spending 24 years at Steamboat Resort, Wirth left in 2010 to become the chief executive officer and president of Squaw Valley USA.He has resumed his duties after a 50 day stay in hospital. Andy Wirth confessed that he zeroed in on Eddie Vedders song ‘Just Breathe’ as he was trying to stop the bleeding on his injured arm. He wrote a letter to the rock star describing how the song helped him through his ordeal and added that he hoped he would meet Eddie soon. The fall caused him to dislocate his elbow and the tissue was torn off his arm socket.
Andy relied on his earlier service at the North Routt Fire Protection District ambulance crew until help came. In addition to that, he controlled his emotions by focusing on the song. Andy first heard the song during the credit roll on a documentary film that featured his friend Buck Brannaman, the horse whisperer. Since hearing the song, he learned to play it on guitar and it became his and his wife’s Karen favorite song.
Andy said that the song came to him immediately because subconsciously he assumed he would be alone for a while given the shock and injuries that he had sustained from the accident. The first lines filled him with intense sadness and as the song progressed, the sadness turned to intense joy. He felt at peace and claims that had he died he would have done so in peace.
The whole experience has deepened the relationship between him and his wife Karen who never left his side after his rescue. It has also helped Andy spend more time with his children who are in Colorado. He admits that he loves sky diving but after the pain he put his family through, it is highly unlikely that he will go back to sky diving.
Andy Wirth was made the president of Squaw Valley ski resort in 2010. He made immense upgrade at the resort, thus boosting its ratings among the populace. In 2011, he ensured the acquisition of Alpine Meadows with the view to boosting the revenue base of the institution. Recently, Wirth was appointed in the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board as its chairperson.