“After I came to, I realized I was pinned inside my truck. There was someone outside my window assuring me that help was on the way,” recalls John of that fateful day.
It was an average day in March when John was returning home to Weyburn via Highway 33. The roads had started getting slick and icy. John noticed traffic was becoming heavier as four vehicles approached from the other side of the highway. The next thing he knew, a vehicle had lost control on the ice and was heading straight at him. John swerved to avoid a collision. “I remember thinking it was too late,” says John, as the vehicle slammed into his and he lost consciousness.
“When I gained consciousness, I was being loaded up into the STARS helicopter. I thought since I’m leaving the scene of an accident in a helicopter, things must be serious.” By the time he reached the Regina General Hospital he had lost a lot of blood-his injuries were extensive. John underwent three surgeries, with the doctors installing a multitude of steel plates and screws in his left arm, right wrist, and left leg and ankle, all which had been severely broken. “There was talk of amputation, and if I had not been brought to the hospital quickly by STARS, I wouldn’t have been able to keep my leg,” says John.
“STARS is very important in Saskatchewan as it is a rural province, and for some, the hospitals are several hours away by ground ambulance,” John states. “We all need to step up and contribute to keep STARS flying.”
Each mission has broad impact
Every time STARS responds to an emergency it has a ripple effect throughout a community. A single patient flown can have a lasting impact on family, friends, emergency responders and countless more people.
Since establishing operations in Saskatchewan, STARS' Regina and Saskatoon bases have flown more than 1,000 missions to 253 communities. With STARS in the air, people living in rural communities, working in remote areas, travelling on highways or being transported from local hospitals to major medical centres, receive the very best critical care in helicopters staffed and outfitted as mobile intensive care units.
With the help of our dedicated supporters, STARS will continue to bring hope to critically ill and injured patients. Approximately 50 per cent of the funding for our two bases in Saskatchewan comes from local supporters. Each and every person who buys a STARS Lottery ticket is helping contribute to the safety of the community.
Every day, STARS takes care of some of the sickest and most critically injured patients in Saskatchewan. This translates to thousands of people who rely on STARS to transport them to hospitals safely where they can access the advanced care they need.
With your help, our non-profit can continue providing patients with the highest level of care available.
Exceptional expertise: Our doctors, nurses and paramedics don’t just work at STARS; they work in your community. You will find them in local emergency departments, intensive care units, and ground ambulances in addition to the back of a STARS helicopter. They’ve completed comprehensive and intensive training programs and are provided ongoing specialized air ambulance and critical-care training.
Cutting-edge technology: Our helicopters are more than an ambulance in the air; they are a sophisticated medical environment brought directly to the patient, whether that’s at the side of a road or a small rural hospital. On board, a full array of medications and equipment is at the disposal of the air medical crew. We can administer life-saving drugs, defibrillate a patient’s heart, transfuse blood, or even peer inside your body using portable ultrasound technology.
Striving for excellence: Our team has a commitment to ensuring the best care is delivered to patients on each and every mission, and we work hard to make sure this is the case. Complementing the fleet with the new AW139 helicopters, acquiring advanced medical tools such as video laryngoscopes, and stocking blood at bases to reduce the time it takes to transport patients, allows STARS to provide excellence in patient care.
Kurt was working on the construction of a new home when he fell through a hole in the roof and was impaled on a three-quarter-inch steel reinforcing bar. Although he didn’t know it at the time, the bar entered through his armpit and continued just left of his ear. He needed to get to the hospital fast.
“STARS has the important responsibility of saving lives, so that people like myself can be with their family and friends.”
While out riding with some friends, the all-terrain vehicle Kyla was on rolled, severing her right foot and breaking her left arm. She has endured 14 surgeries to repair her foot. She was assured when she knew STARS was coming.
"I realized that the life we hold so close can be changed in the blink of an eye, but knowing that STARS was there gave me the confidence that everything was going to be ok."
Garfield Beaudry sat down to put his boots on for dinner with friends and woke up five hours later in an emergency room. He was flown by STARS to the Regina General Hospital where he later awoke and learned from a cardiologist that he suffered a heart attack. He encourages everyone he meets to support STARS.
“I think of that day nearly every day and how fortunate I am to have STARS and others in the medical profession. Without that helicopter, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
To see more stories of our VIPs, learn about what STARS is currently up to, or to find out how to get more involved with our organization, visit our website, become a fan of our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or watch us on Instagram.