Hometown: Plum Coulee, MB
Amanda Legault doesn’t remember anything about the moments leading up to the motor vehicle crash that nearly took her life. The horrific incident also robbed the young mother of her memories of the two years before she slammed into the side of a potato truck and was dragged down the highway.
“The only thing I know for sure is how grateful I am that STARS was there in Manitoba that day,” says Amanda. “I often wonder if I would be alive if it wasn’t for their rescue.”
Headed to Altona to visit a friend in April, 2009, Amanda collided with a truck and trailer at a highway intersection. Her sport utility vehicle became wedged underneath the truck’s trailer and she was dragged down the highway for about one kilometre before the driver noticed. Thankfully, Amanda had the presence of mind to duck down before her vehicle drove underneath. She was 21 and had an 18-month-old daughter at home.
While emergency crews extricated her, STARS was dispatched to the scene. The crew was working in Manitoba after being called upon to assist during the spring flooding. The helicopter landed on the highway.
It would have taken crews nearly two hours to get Amanda to hospital by ground ambulance, with good roads, but because flooding had affected travel in the region no one could be sure. STARS had Amanda in the air and to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg in 18 minutes.
Amanda’s injuries were extensive. She had a collapsed lung, a broken neck, a separated shoulder and five broken ribs. She also sustained massive head injuries. She was unconscious during the extrication and for the next 24 hours before lapsing into a coma for nearly three weeks.
“I don’t know if I would have even survived the ground trip given the extent of injuries to my brain,” says Amanda, who spent two months in hospital and a rehabilitation clinic. She had to relearn walking, eating and using the washroom. “I was a 21-year-old toddler,” she says.
Before that fateful day, Amanda hadn’t even heard of STARS, as the organization had yet to open a base permanent base in Manitoba. Today, the 25-year-old can’t stop talking about the service.
“I am just so thankful,” says Amanda, who has since got married, given birth to a second child and is enrolled at Red River College studying to be an educational assistant. “I think about that day a lot and I have such a soft spot for STARS and what they did for me and my family.”
Watch Amanda's VIP video here.