A Hero’s Nightmare Vacation Enlightens His Value on Life

A Hero’s Nightmare Vacation Enlightens His Value on Life

It was supposed to be a beautiful family vacation in Lake Tahoe for the Loch family. Instead, it turned into a nightmare.

Adam Loch grew up in Cary, Ill., and loved playing outdoor sports. In January 2022, his family decided to go on an unforgettable trip to ski and snowboard, not knowing what the trip would hold. 

It was a warm winter day on the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe. Loch and his family were having a blast skiing and snowboarding. The sun was bright, and the snow was fluffy—perfect elements for some downhill excitement.

As he sliced a path through the snow, Loch began to pick up speed. He tried to maneuver around a group of kids taking ski lessons and an injured man being helped by the ski patrol.

Keeping his eyes peeled for danger, the slope split into two directions. He had to make a split-second decision. Which way to turn.

Then he blacked out.

For two weeks, Loch was unconscious and could not remember anything leading up to the accident. When he woke up, his family filled in the details.

Loch had rammed into a boulder, breaking his skull, back, and elbow. He immediately lost consciousness and a considerable amount of blood.

Fortunately, his brother had trailed behind him and came to his aid. While he frantically called 911, Loch’s body went into shock.

His father, a retired firefighter and former ski patrol member, discovered the news and came to his son’s rescue. While they waited for the ski patrol and paramedics, they attempted to stop the bleeding and initiated CPR.

His brother contacted Flight for Life, a helicopter search and rescue that happened to be in the air. Loch was rushed to the helicopter and flown to Renown Regional Medical Center. After a successful surgery, he stayed in the hospital for a week before being transferred to Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago for additional treatment and rehabilitation.

When reflecting on that day, Loch immediately thinks of the two heroes that saved his life: his father and brother. 

“So many things had to go into play for me to be [alive],” Loch said. “My dad stopping the bleeding, my brother having a cell phone readily by. [ By] the grace of God, it’s the only reason I’m here.” 

While living at Shirly Ryan for a month, doing physical therapy and healing from his injuries, he reflected on his future.

“There were times when I was lying in the hospital bed and didn’t know what’s next,” Loch remembered. “I thought about what I wish I would have done. I was thinking about my relationships and what life’s going to look like tomorrow. I’m just so happy to be alive.”

Eventually, Loch was released and could finally exercise. He had a new-found respect for life and was determined to make the most of each day. 

“I don’t want to take this life for granted because you never know [what could happen],” Loch said. “I want to leave the world a better place than I found it.”

Prior to the accident, Loch heard about Mercy Home from his uncle who was friends with Fr. Scott Donahue, President of Mercy Home. 

After learning about our mission to help young people and the way he could support our kids by running a marathon, he decided to join the Mercy Home Heroes. 

In 2018, Loch finished his first ever Bank of America Chicago Marathon as a Hero.

After bouncing back from his life-threatening injuries, the thought of running for Mercy Home again popped into his mind, and he was eager to show the world that he could cross that finish line once more. So, he signed up as a Hero and is training to run the event this October. 

“When I’m running in the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, I want to inspire whoever I can,” Loch said. “If it’s one person, then I’m excited.”

Despite the many challenges he endured as a young adult, he kept moving forward, trying to be the best version of himself.

 “You only get one chance at this game of life, but I’ve been blessed to get a second chance,” Loch said. “I really want to make the most of [this opportunity] and inspire people to push through those hard times.”

Just as we support our kids in tough times, we will always make sure Loch, and all the Mercy Home Heroes, feel supported throughout their marathon journey—until the finish line and beyond.

Discover More