Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Grateful To Be Alive

"I really want to find out who the man was who called the ambulance for me and saved my life. I owe him a huge thank you."
"He was kind of far away. I was screaming for help. I couldn't pull myself out of the ditch in time. My feet got caught. It wasn't like my whole leg that was caught, but my whole leg had to be amputated."
"It was dark. I could feel my feet. I was pulling myself out of the ditch with my arms. That's why I was stuck there for so long. I didn't have a chance to walk out of that ditch. I had to pull myself out with my hands."
"If it wasn't so cold I would have died. The cold kept me alive."
"He was by a car or a truck. He ran over and helped me and called an ambulance. After that I don't remember anything. I remember everything up until him calling the ambulance. The next time I came to it was around New Year's."
"I'm looking forward to going home because that's what's been keeping me happy and keeping me going."
"I can't wait for rehab[ilitation]. The time has finally come. I'm healing fast, extremely fast. And I'm finally done everything. There's no more surgeries."
Sarah Stott, Montreal, Quebec
Sarah Stott gets a visit from her dog, Sheeba, at the Montreal General Hospital.
Facebook   Sarah Stott gets a visit from her dog, Sheeba, at the Montreal General Hospital.

The 22-year-old woman, pursuing her advanced education in Montreal had just completed her shift waitressing at the Irish Embassy Pub on Bishop Street in the Verdun area of Montreal. It was early morning, dark since it was only 3:00 a.m. She took a short cut often used by neighbourhood people, leading across CN rail lines to arrive more quickly at her apartment not far away. She had passed a train that was stopped, but hadn't noticed a second freight train looming forward on the left-hand side.

That train hit her and knocked her into a dark ditch between two tracks. Where she lay in agony for hours. The newspaper item detailing her awful story didn't make note of why she hadn't heard the freight train coming toward her. Given the habits of young people today to constantly wear ear plugs listening to music on their electronic devices, or speaking on their iphones it's a fair bet that Sarah Stott, fortunately now recovering from her dreadful experience, might have been doing one or the other.

That happened in early December, and she has been in the Montreal General Hospital receiving treatment since that fateful night. It wasn't unusually cold that night at minus-14 Celsius, but cold enough for the date and the place, as the young woman lay in pain and morbidly wounded that she could have bled to death, but didn't because the cold slowed her rate of bleeding. The cold caused frostbite to her hands, so she also lost six of her fingers.

She has had to undergo over a dozen surgeries. One leg was amputated above the hip joint, the other below the knee. Only the thumb and index finger of each hand could be saved. And they care critical digits to have remaining functional. The last of the intravenous lines stabilizing her were removed this week. Her mother had left their Ottawa home when her daughter was hospitalized and has been living in her daughter's apartment since that time.

The plan now is to move the young woman from the Montreal hospital that has been treating her for the past two months to The Ottawa Hospital, in the city where the young woman grew up and where her family still lives. "Her address is with me", her mother Shelley Stott said, speaking of her daughter as "the air that I breathe. I need to be with her. I need to take care of her."

That care and the emotional support that it represents will be needed by her daughter as her new life evolves and she learns to make herself comfortable within that new and very unexpected future.

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