Survivor PTSD

Below is a link to an article about a flight nurse who survived a helicopter crash and went on to develop PTSD. It is a very interesting article. I wanted to share it because it kind of hits home for me. I was never in a crash, but I was a flight medic when one of our ships crashed, killing both crew members.

I will not pretend that I was affected in the same way as the flight nurse in the article. My life was not in jeopardy. But “our” crash did have an effect. The flight nurse who was killed was a friend and co-worker. She was an instructor in my paramedic class. She brought me into the flight program. I was devastated. But what I have never been able to shake is the fact that there was supposed to be a third crew member on the flight that crashed. A flight paramedic. No – not me. But a friend. She was not feeling well and decided she would be more a hindrance than a help on the flight and headed for home as the helicopter lifted off. By the time she arrived home……

At the time, I was the “Lead-Paramedic” – essentially her supervisor. We had a few conversations. One over many beers. She was in total shock. I do not think she had come to grips with any of it. She left the program not long after….I have not talked to her in more than 15 years…..

I cannot help but wonder how she is today. I have recently “found” her and hope to get together with her soon. However, I am not sure she is willing……

Do I have PTSD related to “our” crash? I don’t think so, but I don’t know for sure. I was able to get right back on the helicopter. I was nervous, but was able to get over it quickly. I even had an experience a few years later when, for more than just a few seconds, I was sure we were going down…..Now that I think about it, that was my last flight.

Here is the link:







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