Meeting Other Patients Helps Heal

I was an 18 year old kid who had just graduated high school 6 months earlier. I worked at a large car dealer in Milwaukee. The Christmas party was hours away. I had a room booked at the hotel, two cases of beer. I needed to pick up my friend at his house and meet our friends at the hotel. The last memory I have is making phone calls at his kitchen table.

The next 48 hours are a blur.

I remember brief moments of consciousness. Maybe being loaded into the helicopter. A procedure by the doctors. Scans and X-rays. I woke up on Sunday.

I had been flow from Elkhorn to Milwaukee after spinning out and hitting a tree. My passenger was dead. I had two collapsed lungs and broken bones. My body healed and over time I have learned to live with this tragedy.

My work as a self employed carpenter takes me to all sorts of homes around Milwaukee. For a few months I worked in the back yard of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center complex. I will just say that the first time seeing and hearing the helicopter in years was stressful. A PTSD trigger that I dealt with. I had no love for your helicopter. The best I could do was acknowledge it exsistance and move on. I would not dwell on your service.

I heard the news of a 30th anniversary last week. I immediately knew for some reason I had to go. I am so glad you held that service. It was comforting to hear other patients tell there stories. I also feel a kinship with people who have survived trauma. I learned from them. I left there thankful for the service provided. I had never thought about that before. I never realized that your flight crew puts their life on the line to go out into a freezing dark night to save another's life. A true selfless act that I am so thankful for.

I was lucky to have two guardian Angels that day. A van full of nurses was the first vehicle on the scene after I hit the tree. Then your helicopter took me from Elkhorn to receive care in Milwaukee.
I can't write this anymore.
THANKYOU. God bless

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