First a Rescue, then an Inspiration

Three years ago, three Flight For Life crew members saved my life. To them, I can only say “THANK YOU.” To the rest of you readers, I can also tell you how Kathy, Guy and Steve helped me during the following two years of recovery, as well.

On May 18, 2004, I experienced what I initially thought to be a gunshot to the side of my head. That is how sudden and painful the onset of a ruptured brain aneurysm was for me. I had been out to lunch with my daughter, and she was dropping me back at the school where I was a teacher when the aneurysm occurred.

Thanks to quick action on the part of my daughter and the principal of the school where I worked, I was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. There, a CT scan revealed that I had a brain hemorrhage-a subarchnoid bleed. From there, I was transported by Flight For Life-McHenry to the University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital equipped to handle my critical condition. 

Survival

I spent nearly seven weeks in the Neuro-ICU unit, with an EVD drain, and an eventual craniotomy to clip the aneurysm. It was nothing short of a miracle that I survived.

The days and months of the following two years have been spent in regaining my strength and overcoming the neurological effects of the trauma to my brain. Rehabilitation is not easy. In my estimation, anyone who has been “saved” by Flight For Life intervention has had some recovering to do! Some patients may be hospitalized for lengthy rehab services, or making a daily pilgrimage to outpatient Physical Therapy, like I did. It can be painful and discouraging. This is how Kathy, Guy and Steve helped me through those long, long months. I thought about that day two years ago. I did nothing to help myself that day. Of course, I couldn’t. In fact, once the initial onset of pain subsided, I was the one who thought I did not even need to go to the hospital! Indeed, I was counter-productive to my survival.

Recovery

Thankfully, my Flight For Life crew did what they needed to do that day, and did it well.

They did their job, and now it was time to do mine.

It was my time to listen to the therapists, do my hourly exercises and regain my strength. During my lengthy recovery process, I was inspired by the memory of these professionals and what they had done for me. Now it was my turn to do my best – just as they had done theirs.

This past fall, I started to teach full-time again. I have 14 autistic children in my class and find each day to be rewarding. My work here in Michigan reminds me each day why I had a purpose for survival. I suspect my students and their parents will join me in being grateful to Flight For Life. So, a Flight For Life transport can change a life. They save lives every day. What they may not also know is that they also inspired a life to recover – mine. Thank you, Kathy, Guy and Steve.

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