Tammi-Lyn Richard

Good samaritans save patient after motorcycle crash

May 29, 2019

29 May, 2019



| By: Par:

Courtney Kraik

Words alone could never express my gratitude! I especially thank Ornge for their professionalism, their care and compassion!

On June 19, 2016 Tammi-Lyn Richard was involved in a motorcycle accident on Highway 129 south of Chapleau, Ontario.

At the time of the accident, Tammi-Lyn and friends were in a remote area with no cell service. Good samaritans who happened upon the incident drove 50 km back to Chapleau to contact OPP and paramedics. Those same good samaritans then returned to the scene to let Tammi-Lyn know that help was on its way.  The trip took over an hour before the news was relayed. Meanwhile, Tammi-Lyn lay in a ditch, knowing she was dealing with serious injuries.  She couldn’t breathe and couldn’t move because of the extreme pain she was experiencing.

The full extent and severity of her injuries were discovered when she arrived at Chapleau General Hospital.  X-Rays showed that all of her ribs along her right side were broken in several different locations and that her right lung had collapsed from the trauma.  After assessing Tammi-Lyn’s condition, staff at Chapleau General Hospital determined that definitive and emergent traumatic medical interventions were required and immediately contacted Ornge to transport her to Health Sciences North in Sudbury.

Upon arrival to Chapleau General Hospital, the Ornge paramedics reassessed Tammi-Lyn to ensure she was stable enough for transport. Transporting patients by air that are experiencing respiratory distress of any kind is a delicate and serious matter. The change in air pressure during lift off and descent can have significant effects on the patient’s already compromised respiratory system.  

“They realized right away that something wasn’t right with the chest tube,” said Richard.  “They asked for more x-rays and it was discovered that the tube hadn’t made it into my chest cavity and was therefore not doing its job.”  

The sending emergency department doctor had to reinsert the chest tube so that it was in the proper location. “This ended up taking almost 3 hours,” said Richard. “The Ornge team waited patiently the whole time. They were very professional.”

Once the procedure was complete, the Ornge paramedics performed a second assessment and determined that Tammi-Lyn was not stable enough for transport. Tammi-Lyn remembered being very impressed with the team’s professionalism and knowledge surrounding the risk of the major consequences transporting her by air with her lung still collapsed.  

“I was terrified of the situation and my condition,” said Richard.  “The Ornge team was very reassuring (with regards to) dealing with my fears and the severity of my injuries. The team monitored every detail during transport and communicated with me continuously,” even over the deafening noise of the helicopter, to ensure she was comfortable.

Upon arriving at Health Sciences North, the team wasted no time getting Tammi-Lyn into the emergency department where the doctors could start assessing her and decide on a plan to begin treating her injuries.
Tammi-Lyn recognized that a lot of people played a significant role in saving her life, from the good samaritans, to the paramedics, to the emergency room doctor-- and Ornge for their decisive action regarding her care.
“I am here today because of the help of all these people who took the time to save someone whom they’ve never met,” said Richard. “Words alone could never express my gratitude! I especially thank Ornge for their professionalism, their care and compassion!”


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