Carrie Derin planned to celebrate the August long weekend in 2012 with a family quad ride in Moose Mountain Provincial Park, SK. She, her husband, and two daughters were looking forward to escaping the city and enjoying the last long weekend of the summer together. Shortly after the outing began, however, Carrie was pierced through her abdomen and impaled against her seat by a poplar tree that had fallen on the logging road trail. Her injuries were severe, including a lacerated liver, a damaged diaphragm, shattered ribs and significant blood loss. While her husband raced to an area with cell service to call 911, Derin knew she needed to stay strong and conscious for her then 10 and 15-year-old daughters.
“The only thing going through my head was I couldn’t pass out and needed to stay awake,” she said. Soon after 911 was contacted, STARS helicopter was launched. When STARS air medical crew landed to pick her up from paramedics on the ground, Carrie was in critical condition and they knew every second mattered. The pilots took to the air, stopping briefly at Arcola Hospital where the medical crew picked up blood. Moments later, Derin received a life-saving transfusion en route to the Regina General Hospital. Derin spent the next couple weeks recovering in hospital before returning to her home in Regina. In November, she and her family visited the Regina STARS base to meet her flight crew, whom she calls angels. “We’re lucky to have STARS in Saskatchewan. When you see that helicopter in the sky, know that it’s holding angels and carrying the best gift of all – life!”
Over the past several months Derin has devoted many hours volunteering her time in support of STARS, including speaking at events and appearing the STARS Lottery in Saskatchewan. She even spoke at the Saskatchewan Legislature in support of STARS last year.
In April, 2013, Derin had the crowd on their feet when she shared her story at the inaugural Jewels and Jeans gala in Regina. She received thunderous applause when she called onto the stage the air medical crew that saved her life. “It seems fitting that I am here tonight to talk about how the STARS family helped to bring me back to my family,” she told the crowd.
Watch Carrie Derin share her story here.