Former State Sen. Mike Johnston, now running for Colorado governor, brought his family to Southeast Colorado over the weekend for several events.
One of those was a tour of Weisbrod Memorial County Hospital, and Johnston quickly learned first-hand how important the hospital is to rural communities.
"While I was on the tour, my son Emmet was on the playground and sliced his hand open," Johnston recounted Monday. "We had to run him into the emergency room where they were able to clean it out and fix him up right away. I can't imagine life out here if you had to drive to Pueblo or Colorado Springs for small issues like that. I already knew we needed to protect our rural hospitals. Now I've seen their value firsthand."
Johnston and his family spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Cheyenne, Bent, Baca and Kiowa Counties. They took in the turtle races at the Cheyenne County Fair Friday, where Johnston's daughter Ava's turtle won a heat, and also saw the rodeo at the Baca County Fair. In-between, Johnston's other son Seamus was able to do a little snake hunting on the plains.
"He managed to snag a couple," Johnston said. "He knows to steer clear of the ones that rattle."
Photo: Gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston with twin sons Emmet and Seamus after Emmet required an unexpected visit to the emergency room at Weisbrod Memorial County Hospital. (Photo by Michael Summerfruit)