As part of our celebration of Samaritan's 20th anniversary, we invite you to share your personal experiences with Samaritan. To participate, send your story in 250 words or less to firstname.lastname@example.org. A high-resolution digital photo may be attached. Sending your story and photo gives Parkview permission to post your experience on this web page.
In 2009, the Parkview Samaritan Flight Program celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Here are the stories of just a few of the 15,000-plus patients who have been transported by Samaritan over the past 20 years. You’ll also learn about the critical efforts by Samaritan crew members and others, including physicians and EMS, police and fire personnel.
We would like to thank the individuals featured here for sharing their experiences.
Thank you, Samaritan, for 20 years of lifesaving service to our region.
On the afternoon of May 22, 2006, Laura Stonebraker steered her 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle onto C.R. 13 in the countryside surrounding Corunna, Ind. Only a mile-and-a-half from home, Laura was suddenly alerted by an approaching car. The young woman driving didn’t look for oncoming traffic before turning into a driveway and hitting Laura broadside. Laura remembers hearing grinding noises as she stomped on the brakes and was thrown 70 feet into a field.
The man who lived at the residence ran to the scene and called DeKalb EMS. Upon arrival the paramedics assessed Laura’s condition, noting the badly broken bones in her legs, hips and back. Samaritan was summoned, as Laura requested. During the next three weeks, Laura endured numerous surgeries at Parkview Hospital. She recovered very well thanks to a prosthetic leg and challenging sessions with her physical therapists. Although Laura’s motorcycle-riding days were over for now, she returned to work and continued to enjoy other hobbies.
When Rene Garcia woke up on October 11, 2008, he knew something was wrong. “My arm was bothering me,” he says. “And it felt like I had a brick on my chest.” By the time Rene and his wife, Lieticia, arrived at Marion General Hospital, he had symptoms of a massive heart attack, and while there, he went into V-fib. ER staff summoned Samaritan to transport Rene to Parkview Hospital. During the flight, he was understandably anxious, and he credits the flight nurse for keeping him calm. “The crew took very good care of me,” he says. “Thanks to them, the 15-minute flight went by quickly.”
At Parkview Heart Institute, Rene was treated successfully. “I left the hospital with two souvenirs,” he says, “a stent and a T-shirt the Samaritan crew gave me.”
On a warm July afternoon in 2008, 13-year-old Tyler Priest helped some family friends bale hay. While climbing on and off the tractor, Tyler slipped and fell to the ground. The tractor ran over his head and shoulders. An adult working alongside Tyler in the field called 911 and received CPR instructions over the phone from the dispatcher. Ohio City EMS and Brickner’s Ambulance Service arrived, addressed the most critical injuries and called for Samaritan. Tyler was flown to Parkview Hospital, where he was treated for severe head injuries and a broken sternum. The Samaritan crew visited him regularly, first in ICU and then the Pediatric unit. Tyler continues outpatient rehabilitation and looks forward to returning to school.
Kara Priest, Tyler’s mother, has a special understanding of the care her son received. She is a flight nurse for ProMedica Air.
“I sat vigil by his bedside for days, not sure if Tyler would make it. I know that he’s here today because everyone did their part.”
After carrying and delivering five children, Rita Huss-Riedel knew what to expect with her sixth pregnancy. Because of the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, Rita’s doctor planned to induce labor at Parkview LaGrange Hospital. But during labor, the team had to perform an emergency caesarian to deliver the baby safely. Both mother and child seemed to be doing well, until suddenly Rita began to hemorrhage. Her doctor and team tried intently to stop the bleeding, but they couldn’t. Samaritan was called to transport her to Parkview Hospital.
On the seven-minute flight, the Samaritan crew continued to give Rita blood. At Parkview, a partial hysterectomy was done to stop the bleeding. When she awoke two days later, Rita celebrated the birth of her newborn son, yet grieved that she wouldn’t have more children. Rita and her husband agreed to combine their favorite names for this youngest child and so Camden Lucas Tennason Dominic Riedel was born November 24, 2006.