11-Year-Old Skier Says Television Show Helped Him Survive Avalanche

Friday, December 28th 2007, 12:11 pm
By: News On 6

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - An 11-year-old boy said a TV show about surviving an avalanche helped him when he was buried by one at a ski resort.

``Create air pockets,'' Max Zilvitis told himself, recalling a show on the Discovery Channel.

That's about all he remembers from an avalanche that buried him for about 30 minutes Sunday and killed a 30-year-old Colorado man at The Canyons.

Max was blue and unconscious when found by rescuers, who used a probe to find him in several feet of snow. He regained consciousness Monday at Primary Children's Medical Center and went home Wednesday.

``I'm doing great,'' Max said Friday on ABC's ``Good Morning America.''

Doctors kept Max's body temperature low, around 94 degrees, to minimize potential brain swelling, said his mother, Samantha Zilvitis. He stayed on a respirator and was monitored as his body temperature slowly increased.

But when Max's body wasn't warming up as anticipated, doctors cut off medication and aggressively started to wake him up, father Brian Zilvitis said.

He immediately asked: ``What happened to me? Where are my skis? Where's my pass? Where's my jacket?'' his mother told the Deseret Morning News.

The family plans to visit The Canyons on Sunday to thank people who played a role in the rescue.

``It's really cool,'' Max told The Salt Lake Tribune. ``It's kind of crazy that they know more about what happened to me than I did.''