Wilson Matthews (WM) and Jeanne Yeatman (JY)
WM: I remember being in the helicopter with him. Even in a bad situation something’s usually working a little bit, but nothing was working. You know you have the mental checklists and we ran out of the standards, so we just started making up stuff to do ‘cuz neither one of us wanted to stop.
JY: It seemed like a really long flight. You know, until you’ve really fought for somebody and then seen ‘em die right before your eyes. You can’t explain it.
WM: When his mom wanted to meet with us–a couple of months after? I remember being terrified not knowing if she was gonna be angry that we didn’t save him. But she wanted to touch us and hug us because we were the last people to see her boy alive. That was fourteen years ago. So his mom has been without him as long as she was with him.
JY: You know, I think we’re invited into people’s lives at their very worst moments. People don’t plan for us. People don’t expect to see us. And meeting her I know forever changed my life because, I mean, it is the reason we do this.
WM: The flight with Stephen still is with me everyday. I mean his picture is in my locker so every time I take my helmet out to go on a flight he’s lookin’ at me. And I know you have the same picture in your office. How often are you seeing it?
JY: It sits right behind me.
WM: And it’s not so much a technical reminder of intubations, or medications or procedures, but it reminds me that we’re not just taking care of the patient. We’re taking care of somebody’s family. It’s easy to get caught up in all that we have to do to be able to do what we do everyday. But I’m more of a human flight nurse than I was. I see things a little differently now.