DENVER (KDVR) – Denver Health paramedics, doctors and nurses treat thousands of patients each year, but rarely see the outcomes. One patient wanted to meet the men and women she calls her angels who saved her life one year ago.
Megan was brutally attacked by a stranger outside her home on Sept. 26, 2019. We are only using her first name, since her attacker has not yet been arrested. She said, “I sustained a subdural hematoma, a traumatic brain injury, fractures to my skull and my face, lacerations on my entire body.”
Initially, doctors did not think she would survive. “I just remember I went in and out of consciousness a lot that night. When I woke up, I don’t ever remember thinking i was going to die, even though when I arrived at the ER the doctors thought my injuries were fatal,” she said.
Now, her boss calls her ‘a walking miracle’. With a prior career in law enforcement, Megan had trained for scenarios like this, but she would need a lot of help surviving.
It started with the Denver Health Paramedics that responded that night. “When the paramedics responded, I heard their voices. I don’t remember their faces, but I remember hearing their voices and it just sounded like voices of angels,” she said. “I knew in that moment, I was in the best hands.”
On the one year anniversary of her attack, she paid a visit to Denver Health to thank the paramedics, doctors and nurses that saved her life.
“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people, their exceptional care, and the treatment care they gave me, saved my life at Denver Health,” she said. “It’s very hard to put into words how much gratitude I am for that treatment.”
During the reunion, they shared tears and laughter. They joked about how she was worried they would cut her hair off and how nurses snuck her extra ice cream.
She learned the paramedics that responded were on their first shift as Denver Health Paramedics, although both had prior experience.
“We were new to Denver Health Paramedic Divison at the time. We had just completed the training program and were out on our own,” Dan Nozick said. “It’s just exciting to see the result of our work. We don’t often see the great outcomes, or the outcomes period. So it’s nice that we see an amazing one at that.”
Paramedic Tony Maurina added, “We don’t get to do this very often see someone doing better than when we found them, it’s great to see. Any other Denver Health Paramedic would’ve done the exact same thing we did. Just what we are trained to do, and we did the best we could for her. Glad to see the outcome.”
She read a statement to them, afraid her traumatic brain injury would prevent her from remembering everything she wanted to say.
“You are my heroes standing in front of me. In my darkest hours, all of you became my light. Each of you responded and helped me in a miraculous way in those critical moments that ultimately saved my life. Regardless of my insane willpower and my strength, I simply would not have survived without each of you at Denver health. Your selflessness, expertise, quick and sound decisions you provided me reminded me there are angels and heroes among us.”
Megan said she still faces a lengthy recovery. “I see about a dozen specialists now, from neurosurgeons to neurologist, to neuro optometrists, physical therapy, speech pathology, trauma therapy, occupational therapy, you name it.”
She is still healing physically and emotionally, but wants to encourage other victims that they can overcome challenges too.
“I have felt sadness for what happened one year ago. It’s very difficult to think a human could do that to another human. But my strong spirit and will prevailed.”
She is comforted knowing there are so many people willing to help people like her. “I never once felt alone. That was pretty amazing after something like that happened, it was great to have these wonderful people around me. I have the utmost respect and gratitude for all those people around me,” she said.
Her friends have set up a gofundme account to help with her continuing recovery.