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When a vehicle crash left Chelsea Phillips fighting for her life, the first help to reach her side was a friend.

“I was thrown from the truck,” said Phillips of the horrible summer evening incident that claimed the lives of two people. “My friend was the EMT on call that night. He made the decision to call STARS to save my life, because I wouldn’t have time to make it by road ambulance.”

Flight paramedic Jason Rempel remembers arriving at “a very chaotic scene” and being led to Phillips.

“Her injuries were quite bad,” he said. “Flight nurse Mark Crandall and I both knew she was going to be time-sensitive. We performed as many interventions as we could in a short period of time to give her a head start for her recovery.”

And a long, difficult recovery it would prove to be. After spending 13 days in a coma and her family living in fear she would never walk or talk again, Phillips began a years-long journey of physio, speech, massage, and chiropractic therapies.

And then she walked into the STARS base to meet her flight crew.

“I said: ‘Thanks for saving my life’ ” she recalled. “They’re the reason that I lived, and I would like to thank them forever for saving my life.”

Her mom Jill stood nearby, fighting back tears.

“She’s incredible. She’s my miracle kid.”

Rempel was happy to see his former patient again.

“It’s great to see her up and smiling,” he said. “She’s a great person and a great spokesperson for STARS now.”

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