It wasn’t a hard choice for Billy Hotzfield to make the move to Colorado. During a visit after college, he fell in love with the beautiful landscape and immediately decided he was going to pick up, leave Chicago, and head to Castle Rock.
Shortly after relocating, in 2003, he invited one of his good friends from the ‘windy city’ to fly out and hang with him at his new house. One evening, after dinner, they decided it would be fun to take the four-wheelers out into the snow for a ride around the open space near his property. That’s the last thing that Billy can recall about that night.
Noticing that he didn’t see Billy, his friend rode back to retrace the area where he had last been. Then, through the darkness, he caught a glimpse of the ATV standing tail-down in the snow and Billy’s limp body lying 100 feet away. Thinking fast, his friend struggled to bring him to the road where he flagged down a driver for help. At that moment, it didn’t matter that Billy Hotzfield had three houses and a successful house framing business, what mattered was whether he would even survive the drive to the hospital.
“I lost everything,” he says, understanding how lucky he is to be here. “I died three times and was non-responsive for a month.” Then, miraculously, from his comatose state, Billy started to show signs of life. His family immediately moved to Denver’s Craig Hospital, to be treated for his traumatic brain injury over the next eight months. Once released, the road to recovery that followed was hard. “But what can you do?” he shrugs, “I wanted to be here.”
Today, Billy still lives in the town that stole his heart over a decade ago. Not letting his lasting injuries hold him back, he has worked at Target since 2008, sharing his smile with Castle Rock residents. In 2001, he married Danette, whom he met at a local church but also likes to boast about his four teenage boys from his previous marriage. Billy still enjoys a lot of freedom, driving and biking and looks forward to going home to spend time with his wife and Platt Hound at the end of the day.