Hospital staff told Hugh Watson’s family if he miraculously lived, he’d never walk again.

“Five months later I walked out of the hospital,” said Watson during a visit to the STARS base.

It was a dark winter night when Hugh and a friend decided to race their all-terrain vehicles on a rural highway.

“The quads collided and rolled at a high speed,” said Watson. “The quad then rolled across my body. I was not wearing a helmet. It was the first and last time I rode without a helmet.”

He suffered multiple injuries to his upper body, and first responders immediately called STARS to the scene.

Minutes later, he was at a trauma centre in the city, where he would be in a chemically induced coma for two weeks.

Almost six months later, he left the hospital.

“A week after that I came back to STARS to thank the pilots and the crew for saving my life,” he said. “It meant the world to them. It meant even more to me to know they were there for me that night.”

He’s since helped STARS with several fundraising efforts. He even had his wedding-engagement photo session in the STARS hangar “as another way to capture the importance of the helicopter and what it’s done for me.”

He’s grateful for the support of allies who make STARS possible.

“You never know when an event similar to mine may happen to either yourself or family members you know and care about,” he said. “It makes a huge difference in knowing that there’s people out there supporting this organization, to help people like myself and other people who have had trauma.”

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