Three years ago Michelle Salt's future was in limbo. Her body was severely broken from a catastrophic motorcycle accident. The young woman had also lost a leg.
Today, Michelle is an athlete on the international stage. Last winter she competed in Sochi, Russia, becoming the first female Canadian Paralympic snowboarder. She credits many first responders for her success, including STARS.
Michelle’s enjoyment of a summer evening motorcycle ride with friends came to an abrupt halt in 2011 when she lost control and hit a guardrail at highway speed. Broken bones included bi-lateral tibia and fibula compound fractures, hips, pelvis, vertebras, clavicle and when she broke her right femur in two places, it severed her femoral artery causing her to almost bleed to death.
Michelle’s life depended on the quick response of STARS to get her to the Foothills Medical Centre so physicians could stop the blood loss. “I know I would not be here today if it weren’t for STARS,” Michelle says.
In order to save her life, doctors had to amputate her right leg eight inches above the knee. Michelle endured four major surgeries in three days and was on life support for seven. “If it was not for STARS, Michelle would not be here today. She would have bled to death,” says Pat Jeffery, STARS’ flight nurse who was on Michelle’s mission. “It’s not a sad thing to see STARS flying anymore, because now I know someone has a better chance of spending another holiday with their family, or saying I love you again” says Michelle. “All because of that red and white angel in the sky.”
Every day, STARS takes care of some of the sickest and most critically injured patients in Alberta. This translates to thousands of people who rely on STARS to get 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 allow STARS to provide excellence in patient care.
While on her way to work in Central Alberta, Stephanie’s car was crushed by a semi-trailer hauling two combines. She encourages everyone she meets to support STARS.
“I was just driving to work. You never know when something like this can happen to you or someone you love.”
When Olivia was born, she had underdeveloped lungs, and suffered a stroke and seizures. Within hours, she was turning blue. Olivia’s mother, Naomi, was reassured when she knew STARS was coming.
“The STARS paramedic provided me with peace of mind. Without them, Olivia would have not survived.”
Living with Hepatitis B since 2009, Anthony had become critically ill and was in desperate need of a transplant as his liver failed. He needed to get to Grande Prairie hospital, and fast.
“My son drove through a blizzard to say goodbye, but he didn’t have to because STARS was there to save my life.”
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.