Quintin and Beth Giesbrecht's lives were changed because of STARS.
On November 19 in 2016, Quintin and his wife Beth were on their way home when a vehicle crossed the center line and collided with their pick-up truck.
As Quintin can’t remember most of the incident, Beth tells the story.
“We were coming back from Winkler, just passed Kleefeld, and just driving along, talking away and all of a sudden I heard this loud bang,” she says. “And it was a car hitting us. I didn't even have a chance to say anything to Quintin. It just happened that quickly.”
The next thing she remembers is seeing Quintin dazed with a stream of blood already down his head.
“People were talking to me, so I tried to open my door. It wouldn't open, and I put my window down,” she says. “There was a guy who was standing beside the truck saying ‘you got to get out, open your door.’ I couldn't open it, so they pulled me out of my window.”
At this point, rescuers were working to free Quintin before the truck became engulfed in flames.
The man who helped Beth led her to a truck behind them, they sat down and he got her a blanket and held her to help her calm down.
“And I was like, 'what about Quintin? Where is he?' And apparently he had told me that he had gotten out, but I don't remember that,” she says. “And then as I'm sitting there, the truck blew up. And then I started to freak out, and the man that was holding me, he turned my head away and put his hand on my ear so I couldn't hear and I couldn't see anything.”
Quintin remembers a few bits and pieces of the event.
“I remember saying, ‘get my wife out of here.’ And I do have a vague memory of somebody actually folding my door in half.”
He says there were two guys that helped get him out of the truck initially.
“These two guys bent my door in half because my door was mangled. The window opening would have been too small to get me out, so they bent the door in half and then they pulled me out of that opening. I just remember hands coming into the door. I don't remember anything after that.”
He is very thankful for all the people on the scene who were there to save the day.
“And then STARS getting me to the hospital to fix up my legs to keep me mobile is definitely up there on the gratitude list.”
He’s very thankful for the service STARS provides and the speed they can get you to the hospital.
“I am 100 percent convinced that I'm standing here as opposed to sitting in a wheelchair or using a cane because STARS got me to the hospital on time. They said I was what they call 'limb critical,' so time was important to get to the hospital so my legs could be fixed up.”
He notes that he initially assumed he was unconscious for the majority of the time as he couldn’t remember much.
“But I've had people that were rescuing me saying ‘you were talking the whole time.’ A matter of fact, they thought I was paralyzed,” he says. “They kept saying I couldn't feel my legs and so they were terrified about moving me. Our truck was on fire though, so I'm glad they did move me.”
He said the care he received that day was instrumental in his eventual recovery.
“I'm grateful that I'm walking and I'm sure that is 100 percent because of STARS.”
The two had the opportunity to meet with STARS.
Quintin says he met with the pilot, the nurse, and the EMT that were on the helicopter that day.
“The opportunity to meet them, that’s actually a big part of the healing process psychologically. I mean, you get to meet these guys that were involved in rescuing you and be able to thank them, I think that as human beings we're wired to be grateful.”
The Critical Care on the Air Radiothon for STARS, presented by LMS Ag Equipment, is on your local radio stations, AM1250, MIX 96.7FM and COUNTRY 107.7FM, May 17 and 18, 2023.
Click here for more information and to support STARS.
With files from Corny Rempel