Hometown: Ponoka, AB
John Reimer was on a hunting trip south of Grovedale with two of his close friends on September 24, 2009. About 25 kilometres from camp, John rounded a corner with his quad and lost control. He was unconscious when his friends found him.
One of the friends headed back to camp to find cell service so he could call emergency services, and STARS was dispatched to the scene.
It took 12 minutes to get John to QEII Hospital in Grande Prairie, a trip that would have taken over an hour by ground. John was subsequently taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton by plane and spent the next two weeks in a coma.
He suffered a traumatic brain injury, a broken right scapula and almost lost his left ear. He also had extensive damage to his face and now has 10 plates and 68 screws holding his face and jaw together.
“I had a slow and difficult recovery,” said John, who spent the next three months in the Halvar Johnson Centre for Brain Injury in Ponoka.
“I was discharged just in time for Christmas,” said John, adding that he has since returned to work as an electrical general foreman, supervising 40 workers. “I have been told that I am very lucky, because less than two per cent of patients who suffer a traumatic brain injury ever return to work.”
John is thankful for his family and friends who supported him throughout his recovery, and for the STARS Grande Prairie crew that transported him that fateful day.