Nearly one year ago, Melissa Smart responded to the scene of a 7-year-old Tumwater boy who had been run over by a pickup truck.
The incident occurred March 25, 2014, as the boy was running along a sidewalk in the 700 block of Clark Street Southwest.
Smart is a nurse for Airlift Northwest, a medical transport service with a base at the Olympia Regional Airport. Her crew’s helicopter arrived within minutes and transported the boy to Harborview Medical Center in less than half an hour, she said.
The boy suffered serious injuries to his spleen, lungs and hand. He was released after a five-day stay at Harborview.
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“His situation could have gone a different way,” Smart said. “Time was of the essence to him, and that made a difference.”
One year later, Sherrie Thissell and her son Case, now 8, got to meet the nurse who cared for him on the life-saving helicopter ride. They were brought together when Airlift NW held a reception last Saturday (March 7) at the Hands On Children’s Museum.
“It was nice to meet and say thank you,” said Thissell, who was working at her job in Seattle when the accident occurred.
Case has since made a full recovery, she said, and the second-grader at Tumwater Hill Elementary is back to playing soccer and baseball.
“He was just really really lucky,” said Thissell, noting that she appreciated the support during Case’s recovery. “Everybody was taking care of him. We really live in a nice community.”
As for the nurse who treated Case during the helicopter ride, Smart said she feels lucky to have helped the boy and his family.
“A lot of times our patients don’t remember the ride, and their stay with me is very short,” Smart said. “It’s a treat for us when we get to hear about how our patients are doing.”