It is a fact, in this country a drunk driver kills or mames a person every 15 minutes; I am one of those people.
The crash happened on a dark, isolated road that was out in the country. I think it was no coincidence that there were so many people there at that time of night. It was no coincidence that Russell and his family happened upon the accident scene right after it happened and were able to call for help. No coincidence that he would hold me and pray with me before I slipped into unconsciousness. God sent Russell and his family my way because He knew that this wonderful man would come to my aid despite the risk to himself. He was the first to arrive upon this horrific scene, he called 911, and without hesitation he came to my side. You can imagine, I’m covered in blood, literally from head to toe, and he didn’t know me, yet he was willing to leave his own family in the car as he ran over to hold me up. He held me in a way to comfort me, all the while thinking I was dying. I looked up at him and said, “It hurts”, and he said “I’m with you” and then I said “I’m scared” and he responded by saying “ I’m going to pray with you”, and as he did I slipped into unconsciousness. God was definitely with him on that night. Russell was the last person to hear me speak in my original voice; no one has heard it since. Without Russell I probably wouldn’t be here, I thank God for him.
It just so happened that there was a Fire station right around the corner from the crash site. So when the paramedics arrived several minutes later, they triaged the crash scene and quickly determined that I was the only one with life threatening injuries and began working to get me stable for the ride to the hospital. It took a team of firefighters and the Jaws of Life almost an hour to free my broken body from the twisted metal. I was struggling to breathe and semi-conscious for most of that time, the paramedics tried their best to keep me breathing while the firemen worked. When the paramedics were freeing me from my vehicle I became combative, which is the normal reaction. When someone or something is trying to kill you, it’s either flight or fight and my injured brain started to fight.
I believe that the first paramedic to arrive, seeing that I was having difficulty breathing, began to give me artificial respiration with a bag and mask since I was still trapped in my vehicle. I am guessing my heart didn’t stop until the paramedics laid me down on the gurney. I don’t know for how long, I think only God, the paramedic’s and the doctors know that. My entire head and face were covered in blood from the lacerations and broken bones, but he got me breathing again, but only briefly.
When a paramedic arrives on a crash scene, they are faced with a terrible decision. They have to assess the crash site and determine who to save first. It’s not easy; if there is more than one critical person, they will help them both but, they have to consider that persons odds for survival, and then treat accordingly. At my crash scene I was the only one that was physically injured, the drunk driver that hit me was DOA, and the family that hit me from behind was shaken up but otherwise unhurt. My prognosis was not good, to say the least. A paramedic told me, if there had been anybody else who was less critical we would have saved them first, they didn’t think my condition was survivable. He told me that he has never, in twenty years, seen anyone that was as critically injured as I was, let alone survive. All of the medics and police who were at the scene thought I wasn’t going to make it, so much so that they actually called out two coroner vans, one for the drunk driver and one for me, but the van for me never made it. It just so happened that while in route to the scene of my crash it was hit by another drunk driver, and that gave the paramedics time to save my life.
I was semi-conscious through the entire event, except when I wasn’t, the times I went into cardiac arrest. They gave me something at the scene to stop me from fighting so they could stabilize me, treat me, start IV’s, open up my airway, the side effect of that was amnesia of the incident. They would tell me later its better you don’t remember this! They got me loaded into the ambulance for a short drive to the awaiting flight for life helicopter, and that is when, I’m told, I went into my second cardiac arrest. The paramedics in the ambulance got me resuscitated before they did the transfer; they then loaded me into the awaiting Helicopter. The police, in an effort to identify me, grabbed what they thought was my purse and gave it to one of the paramedics on the helicopter. I think almost immediately after the transfer I went into my third cardiac arrest, and I believe this was the longest one, according to the records, eight and a half minutes.
A year later I asked Frank, one of the paramedic’s, why he decided to save me since my prognoses was so bad, and he said, “You were trying to talk to me through the whole thing; you were fighting, so I fought too”. He was my Angel; God sent Frank and his team to save my life on that fateful night. God knew what my future would be.