Probability reunion sees Alberta lady give COVID-19 vaccine to STARS Air Ambulance nurse who saved her life

Chance reunion sees Alberta woman give COVID-19 vaccine to STARS Air Ambulance nurse who saved her life


The total-circle second comes six years after STARS Air Ambulance was known as out to a collision the place a truck had T-boned a automotive on a rural street, leaving the driving force of the automotive preventing for her life.

The efforts of the medical crew helped save Charlotte McHugh’s life that day and it’s one thing she has by no means forgotten.

“The issues that they did in that helicopter made it so I wasn’t brain-damaged, so I wasn’t paralyzed, so I might carry-on — for essentially the most half — with my life because it was earlier than,” she mentioned.


Charlotte McHugh/Submitted

Shortly after leaving her farm, Charlotte McHugh was hit by a truck because it barrelled by means of a cease signal and into the driving force’s aspect of her automotive.

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The collision

On Aug. 25, 2014, McHugh left her farm south of Calgary and was heading to her nursing job when, based on STARS, a pickup truck barrelled by means of a cease signal and into the driving force’s aspect of her automobile.

By the point assist arrived, McHugh’s accidents have been so extreme that STARS Air Ambulance was known as to the scene. However the rescue wasn’t straightforward and time wasn’t on her aspect.

Pat Jeffery, a nurse with a long time of air rescue expertise, and Chad Hegge, a 13-year paramedic, have been on the air medical workforce that day.

Jeffery remembers the incident vividly and to this present day is amazed at how McHugh pulled by means of.

“Our first touchdown zone was obliterated in fog,” Jeffery recalled. “Our pilot simply mentioned we’ll discover a spot and we by no means gave up.”

As soon as the crew landed safely, they instantly assessed McHugh and located her blood stress was so low that they couldn’t inform if she had a pulse.

“If STARS wasn’t obtainable — I’d have died, for positive. I used to be hanging on by a thread,” McHugh, a spouse and mom of three, mentioned.

“I’m grateful that they didn’t surrender on me, as a result of I (would) have died.”

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Among the most serious of her injuries, McHugh had a broken rib that had cut into her heart.

Among the many most critical of her accidents, McHugh had a damaged rib that had reduce into her coronary heart.


Charlotte McHugh/Submitted

Among the many laborious work of her workforce, Jeffery additionally credit their gear and the pace of the helicopter for serving to save McHugh’s life.

“She would have gone into cardiac arrest, I’d say, throughout the subsequent 5 minutes… it was that shut,” Jeffery mentioned.

“We came upon later that considered one of her fractured ribs had pierced her coronary heart and that’s thought of a non-survivable occasion.”

The life-saving flight

Within the helicopter that day, Hegge and Jeffery knew time was not on their aspect. They needed to give McHugh two models of blood as rapidly as attainable and place her on a mechanical ventilator. However the efforts didn’t cease there.

The workforce additionally needed to drill a needle into McHugh’s shoulder bone to provide her medicine to decrease her blood stress and sedated her by means of a tube in her throat.

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“This is likely one of the most technical abilities we carry out,” Hegge mentioned. “One misstep might have extreme penalties and that’s why a expensive video gadget is required for the job.”

McHugh has since realized of every part the medical workforce did to maintain her alive, and mentioned the gratitude she feels daily is overwhelming.


Charlotte McHugh/Submitted

Three years after the accident, McHugh (center) visited STARS to say thanks to Hegge (left) and Jeffery (proper).

A full-circle second

Three years after the collision, McHugh took the chance to satisfy among the medical workforce that saved her life that day.

Nonetheless, it was a current likelihood assembly between McHugh and Jeffery that introduced their story full circle.

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Whereas administering COVID-19 vaccinations at a clinic in Calgary, McHugh waved over her subsequent affected person — not realizing it could be somebody who gave her a second likelihood at life.

“I couldn’t consider that she was sitting in my chair, in any case these years,” McHugh mentioned.

“Since we met right here on the hangar, I haven’t seen (Jeffery). It was simply surreal to me… and I couldn’t even give her a hug.”


McHugh and Jeffery snapped a selfie collectively after their likelihood assembly and full-circle second.


Charlotte McHugh/Submitted

READ MORE: Canada’s 1st COVID-19 vaccinations administered, kicking off massive campaign 

Jeffery was additionally shocked by the full-circle second, however believes every part occurs for a cause.

“Perhaps in a means I helped save her life so down the street she might help save mine by giving me my vaccination,” she mentioned.

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STARS Residence Lottery

STARS depends heavily on donations to maintain its helicopters within the sky, and a giant a part of its funding comes from the STARS Lottery Alberta.

There are 2,500 prizes featured within the 2021 lottery, together with a 3,578-square-foot dream residence in Calgary with an estimated retail worth of $1.9 million.

Early fowl tickets can be found till Feb. 25, adopted by the early fowl draw on March 18.

STARS Air Ambulance mentioned crews in Alberta went on over 1,400 missions final 12 months alone.

Jeffery mentioned she’s has had many individuals over time ask if STARS actually makes a distinction, and her response is “you shouldn’t be asking me that query, try to be asking sufferers like Charlotte.”




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