Ambulance team thanked for lifesaving efforts

 

THANKFUL—Angela Dykes took the time to share her story with the first responders who kept her alive following a head-on crash January 2008. Pictured with Dykes are Rockford Ambulance paramedics Jeff Ripley, Rich Kaiser and Jamie Balcom.

THANKFUL—Angela Dykes took the time to share her story with the first responders who kept her alive following a head-on crash January 2008. Pictured with Dykes are Rockford Ambulance paramedics Jeff Ripley, Rich Kaiser and Jamie Balcom.

Angela Dykes lost seven weeks of memory when she was involved in a head-on crash on M-57 near Ramsdell Road on January 22, 2008. She remembers to be thankful for her life, however, and those who came to her aid that day. On Monday, August 3, Dykes took the time to thank paramedics from Rockford Ambulance for the role they played in her survival. Dykes brought a bag of Lifesavers candies for her saviors and gave them “the rest of the story” while trying to answer some questions of her own.

“Was I wearing clothes?” she asked. Of her wardrobe, only her red winter jacket and a pink boot seem to be missing.

Dykes was on her way back from teaching at Spring Arbor University when a driver in the opposite direction decided to “peek” around the car he was following to see if he could pass. Instead, the SUV struck Dykes’ Volkswagen Passat head on. Among the injuries Dykes suffered were 35 broken bones. She spent the next four weeks in Butterworth Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, another five weeks in the Continuing Care Center, and was on her back in recovery from January to July 2008.

Formerly a runner, Dykes is now an inch shorter in one leg and will soon have her right ankle fused.

“I’m not going to stop having fun. I don’t classify myself as disabled. I classify myself as ‘alternately abled.’”

The paramedics said they were happy to have her feedback, and hear she survived.

“I remember saying to Jeff, ‘There is no way she is alive in there’,” said Jamie Balcom, a paramedic with Rockford Ambulance.

Rockford Ambulance was assisted in the crash by Courtland Township Fire Department. Aeromed was called but unable to respond due to weather conditions.

“People don’t choose to come in for whatever reason and say thank-you. I’m here to say, ‘You did a good job’,” Dykes said.

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