A comforting word from a STARS paramedic and a phone number scrawled on paper helped Rob and Naomi Ramsbottom make it through the most difficult time of their lives. When daughter Olivia was born in 2009, she had underdeveloped lungs, and suffered a stroke and seizures. Within hours she was turning blue. Medical staff at the Drumheller Health Centre knew she needed urgent care, so STARS was called to fly Olivia to Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre.

“When I heard STARS was coming it broke me,” said Naomi, a nurse. While she sobbed on the floor, STARS paramedic Ron Pasieka handed her a phone number to the unit Olivia would be admitted. “He assured me Olivia was in good hands,” said Naomi. “He gave me peace of mind with that number, as it was the only thing connecting us.”

Pasieka, who’s been with STARS for 16 years, said seeing parents distraught is heartbreaking. “It’s traumatic for them to be separated so I try to help them feel better, even in a small way.” Today, Olivia’s parents remain grateful for her perfect health. “Without STARS Olivia would not have survived,” said Naomi.

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