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Flight Paramedic Celebrating Christmas With Family After Surviving Crash

NISSWA, Minn. (WCCO) -- A flight paramedic who nearly died in a helicopter crash is home on this Christmas Eve.

Miles Weske, 34, and two of his North Memorial crew members crashed near Alexandria while responding to a call back in September. They all survived, but Weske spent months in the hospital.

From their home in Nisswa, he and his fiancée Brook Weber told Nina Moini they're more grateful than ever for time with loved ones this holiday season.

"This is our first ever Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the kids," Weske said.

Their love for saving lives brought them together almost three years ago.

"It's wonderful to be home for Christmas because we work in EMS, so we never have Christmas off," Weber said.

On this holiday, flight paramedic Mike Weske and flight nurse Brook Weber are only focused on cherishing life.

"I knew, as a medical professional, they didn't think he wasn't going to live," Weber said.

North Memorial doctors gave Weske a 1 percent chance of surviving when he arrived, broken and bruised, on that September day.

"I knew he was going to pull through, as long as we made it through the first night," Weber said.

Weber and the couples' six children never gave up hope as Weske recovered from a broken neck and back, among several other injuries.

"Amazing -- we never thought we'd be here," Weske said. "She went through the worst times of it. I slept through it."

The hard work is just beginning for him, working every day to find his way back to normal.

"Now it's just a matter of getting stronger so I can hold my head up for more than one hour at a time," Weske said.

His fiancée says it's more than she could've ever hoped for.

"We thought we'd still be in the hospital by now," she said. "That day, we didn't know if he'd wake up or ever be healthy enough to go home, but we are really lucky we can spend Christmas with our kids."

For Weske, luck was just a small part of the process.

"It's really given us a new understanding of what it means to have people there to help," he said.

On the other side, Weske and Weber know it took dozens of their fellow EMS and hospital workers to make this Christmas happen.

"There's no way I would've gotten where I am without their expertise, from start to finish," Weske said.

None of the crew members on board remember the crash or what led up to it. Weske says he'll go back to work, hopefully, once he is strong enough.

The couple also had to postpone their wedding that was scheduled for October. They'll marry in February.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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