If it wasn’t for STARS, Chris Cardiff may not be alive today.
On Oct. 7, 2018, he was dirt biking with a friend when he hit a hill at a high speed and crashed. His friend watched the entire accident unfold.
“It was a good thing he was there … If I was by myself, I would have died out there. He said I went one way and the bike went the other way, and he just saw me cartwheeling and rolling through the field.”
After realizing he was badly hurt, Cardiff’s friend promptly called for help, leading to STARS being dispatched. When STARS arrived, they were able to use the ventilator on board to help him breathe. Each STARS helicopter carries a ventilator that is similar to the machines that can be found in a hospital’s intensive care unit.
“Anyone that we put a breathing tube in, the fact that we can put them on the ventilator is just a way more controlled way of breathing for them,” said Thomas Froh, the STARS flight nurse who cared for Cardiff during his mission.
With these tools and the skills of our talented crew members, Cardiff was able to make it to the hospital quickly and alive.
“When I got to the hospital, I think the doctor’s first words to my parents were, ‘It was touch and go’ when I got there. My blood pressure wouldn’t hold, and I mean, without the STARS ambulance, on life support, that probably would have been it,” said Cardiff.
The accident had left him with crushed vertebrae and nerve damage to his left arm, leaving him paralyzed from the wrist down. With time and physiotherapy, he was able to get some mobility back in his hand, and six months later he was able to return to work.
Now, he has recovered and is able to continue living his life. He is also an ally for STARS, helping make sure we can be there for the next patient who needs us.
His message to everyone who supports STARS is, “Thank you … Without [STARS] I wouldn’t be here.”