Robert B is 38 years old, married with 2 girls and lives Marion Indiana. He was traveling on business to Florence, South Carolina when he was involved in a horrible car accident. His coworkers came upon the accident and began CPR on him and drove him themselves to ER.
He was bleeding from large head wound and breathing very shallow on hospital evaluation. He had 4 neck fractures and a spinal cord injury. After 5 weeks he was still on ventilator but stable enough to fly via air ambulance back to Indiana. His niece is a volunteer nurse with GOW and told his wife about our service.
He had no other way to get home and the hospital was arranging for him to be transferred to a local nursing home otherwise.
When I called to make arrangements for the flight-the case worker said that his wife has been by his side almost all the time but his girls had traveled down to see him and they were out sharing “thanksgiving” dinner so I would have to call her later.
I felt for the family as his insurance company did not approve the accepting facility in Indiana for another 7 days! Everyday we were on standby waiting for the OK-I’m sure they were feeling helpless as well.
We finally got the approval and arrived to get “Bobby” and his wife back home. He was awake and although he was on a ventilator-he was strong enough to speak around the trachea cuff. I was grateful because I’m terrible at lip reading.
We loaded him onto the ground ambulance and had short trip to airport. We prayed over him and then carefully loaded him onto the plane. He is not able to move anything below his neck (which was braced) and we had to breathe for him.
In flight we had smooth skies and his wife showed me pictures of their 4 and 14 year old daughters. She was actually in school to study nursing (wow what on the job training she was getting.)
We arrived in Indy and Heartland ambulance was gracious to donate the ground trip to the rehab. It was the rehab’s only second day of being open and Bobby had lots of attention. Ended up that his nurse was even a cousin of our copilot!
We pray that this family will remain strong through this tragedy and that Bobby’s spinal cord will begin to heal and that he will be able to breathe on his own very soon.
Thanks to my awesome team of RT Matt, Medic Nate and pilots Hal and Rusty-and again to Heartland Ambulance.
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