Snowmobile save: Douglas County woman fortunate, but needs help
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (FOX 9) - A Douglas County woman is recovering from a snowmobile collision that could’ve killed her if not for a series of fortunate events.
Becky Sletto crashed in Ashby last weekend, and she’s in a St. Cloud hospital now.
That actually makes her one of the lucky ones, but her recovery is a struggle.
Like the mermaids Becky loves, she’s practically a mythical creature in the eyes of her inner circle.
"There’s no one like Becky," said her best friend, Beth Minners. "Like, she is a spirit. She lights up the room wherever she is."
Beth says the mother of four is always worried about everybody else before herself and she’s not one to ask for help.
"Beckles" is part owner of Bombshells Salon & Spa in Alexandria where she’s a massage therapist and cosmetologist.
She loves sunsets and the outdoors in all seasons — swimming with manatees and running in warm weather; in the winter, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Her snowmobiling excursion last Saturday ended with a bad crash, but in a good location.
A North Dakota nurse heard it happen, saw Becky’s femoral vein slashed, and stepped in right away.
"Saw the blood and just took my coat off and applied pressure," said registered nurse Kasey Brandenburger, who lives in South Dakota but works in Hankinson, North Dakota.
Paramedics from the Ashby Fire Department took over from Brandenburger and a Life Link helicopter got Becky to a hospital in St. Cloud — all within a matter of minutes, even in a rural area where that’s no guarantee.
She lost six units of blood and could’ve bled to death without intervention.
The Department of Natural Resources says snowmobile collisions have already killed ten people in Minnesota this winter, up from six last year and three the winter before.
"One of the factors for that is just that we’ve had better snow," said Arnaud Kpachavi of the DNR.
Better snow usually means more riders.
More riders usually means more collisions.
And melted snow that's refrozen hurts steering and stopping, so it's even more dangerous right now.
Becky still needs at least a couple more weeks in the hospital.
She’ll need at least one more surgery to hopefully regain movement in her right thumb so she can get back to taking care of everybody else.
"Her faith and her family and her friends and her clients; those are the things that matter," said her sister Jackie Barland.
Becky owns her own business, so all her expenses are out of pocket and she’s without income for now.
Family members and friends are raising money for her hospital bills and family expenses.
You can visit the GoFundMe page with this link.