A Canadian paramedic who unknowingly treated her own daughter after a fatal vehicle crash brushed away tears as she remembered a beautiful girl who fought until the end.
Jayme Erickson was called to the crash north of Calgary on Nov. 15 and sat with a seriously injured girl who was extricated from the car and taken to hospital, where she died. She was unrecognizable because of injuries.
It wasn't until Erickson got home at the end of the day that she was met by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, who told her the patient was her 17-year-old daughter, Montana.
Erickson shared her grief with reporters late Tuesday, describing her daughter as a success at everything she set her mind to, an avid swimmer who had aspirations of becoming a lawyer.
"She was a fighter and she fought until the day that she died and she was beautiful. She was so beautiful. If she ever put an effort into anything she would always succeed at it," said Erickson at an Airdrie firehall with family, paramedics, police officers and firefighters standing behind her in a show of support.
Richard Reed, a friend and flight paramedic, broke down a number of times as he recounted Erickson attending the scene where a car had lost control and was struck by an oncoming truck.
Reed said the driver was able to get out of the car but the female passenger was trapped with serious injuries. Erickson was the first person on the scene. He said Erickson knew the girl was in trouble and sat there until she was extricated and transported to hospital by air ambulance, still unaware of who it was.
"On her way back she expressed her grief and frustration to her partner, knowing that later a family would likely lose their daughter, sister and grandchild. A short time after arriving home, there was a knock on the door. It was the RCMP," Reed said.
"On entering the room, to her horror, she found the girl that she had sat with in the back of the crumpled vehicle keeping alive, so the family could say goodbye, and due to the extent of her injuries was unrecognizable, was Jayme's own daughter," he added. "Jayme unknowingly was keeping her own daughter alive."
In an emotional Facebook post last week, Jayme Erickson wrote: "My worst nightmare as a paramedic has come true."
"The critically injured patient I had just attended to, was my own flesh and blood," she wrote. "My only child. My mini-me. My daughter, Montana. Her injures were so horrific I did not even recognize her."
"Today we officially said goodbye to my little girl," she wrote. "I cannot help but be angry for the short amount of time I was given with her. 17 years was not long enough."
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