In an incident during a trip from Saskatoon to their home in Winnipeg, Bob and Susan Malazdrewich found themselves in a terrifying accident that left Bob with a broken neck. Thanks to the response of the STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service) Air Ambulance, they have an extraordinary story to share.

During an interview with PortageOnline, Bob and Susan recounted the incident that took place in 2017. Bob had crawled back into the front seat after retrieving a water bottle from the back of their SUV, causing his wife to lose control of the vehicle. The car veered off the road, collided with a culvert, flipped end over end, and landed on its wheels. Bob was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken neck.

STARS was called to the scene due to the severity of his injuries. They immobilized his neck and transported him in the air ambulance, his first-ever helicopter ride, to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. Bob received medical treatment there for 17 days, ultimately saving his life.

"Without STARS," Bob explains, "I probably would have died out there. Who knows?"

Their quick response and expertise contributed to his improved outcome. He acknowledged that without STARS, the accident could have been fatal or left him paralyzed.

Susan, unable to accompany her husband on the flight, trusted that he would receive the best care possible. Although they haven't had the chance to visit the STARS base or meet the individuals involved in the life-saving mission, their admiration for the organization and its mission, is clear.

When asked about encouraging others to donate to STARS, Susan highlighted the unpredictable nature of life, emphasizing that anyone could need such vital emergency services. She urged those who could spare the money to make a donation, stressing that it is an investment in the well-being and safety of individuals and communities.

Bob echoed his wife's sentiments, stating that the care provided by the STARS team significantly alleviated his pain and discomfort. He wholeheartedly urges people who are able, to consider making a donation, emphasizing the tremendous impact it can have on saving lives and reducing suffering.

The accident occurred on a Sunday afternoon near Westbourne, on Highway 16, a time when many people were returning home from leisure activities.

The story of the Malazdrewichs showcases the life-saving capabilities of the STARS service. STARS is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing specialized emergency medical transport to critically ill and injured individuals in remote areas. Their fleet of helicopters is equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and staffed by highly skilled professionals. 

With their ability to reach even the most challenging locations, STARS bridges the gap between remote communities and advanced medical facilities. The funds donated to STARS are vital for maintaining and expanding their fleet, training their medical professionals, and ensuring their prompt response to emergencies. 

"You never know what's going to happen in your life," says Susan, "You may at one point need this, and if you can spare the money, do it. It's money well spent."

To learn more about STARS or contribute to their mission, visit our Critical Care on the air radiothon page here.