Andre Stolar doesn't recall much about his trip on Life Flight from an accident on State Rt. 795 in Perrysburg Township to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center Sept. 25, but yesterday he returned to the hospital to thank the nurse who helped saved his life that night.
Mr. Stolar was involved in a four-vehicle accident at the Glenwood Road intersection of Route 795 that also injured his sons, Ian, 7, and Drake, 4. All three were taken to the hospital by Life Flight.
He said he was particularly thankful to the entire Life Flight crew and his physician, Dr. Barry Knotts, for putting him back together again after the accident shattered his body.
Julie Goins, a Life Flight nurse, was one of several people who helped Mr. Stolar during the four-minute trip that Ms. Goins called “very critical.”
“She was the person I talked to when I was put on the helicopter,” Mr. Stolar said. “The thing that I remembered the most was that I knew my boys were OK, and that I had a hard time breathing. Once I got on the helicopter, I couldn't remember much else.”
Ms. Goins said the crew took Mr. Stolar immediately into surgery at St. Vincent without shutting off the helicopter engines when it landed, a move that is done only in the most dire of circumstances.
Mr. Stolar, 30, of Pemberville, Ohio, was in a medicine-induced coma for 23 days while doctors helped 18 bones heal. He suffered two breaks each in his left arm and his right leg.
Ms. Goins said a handful of patients to whom the emergency helicopter crew tends return to say thanks, but said it's those few who do make the high-pressure work performed on Life Flight worthwhile.
“It's our responsibility to follow our patients through the hospital,” Ms. Goins said. “I didn't get to see Andy much because he was always [un- conscious]. Some of those people [who return] have become good friends as well, so that's always special.”
Mr. Stolar spent most of his time in the intensive care unit, where he also overcame a collapsed lung.
His sons turned out not to be hurt seriously and are attending school at All Saints in Rossford. Mr. Stolar is still on leave from his job at Duricek Automotive in Rossford.
On the day of the accident, Ohio Highway Patrol troopers said Amber Wagoner, 27, of Holland, was traveling westbound on Route 795 when she ran a red light and struck Mr. Stolar's truck, which was southbound on Glenwood.
Two other vehicles were struck, but Mr. Stolar suffered the most serious injuries.
“I know there were a lot of people who played a part in this,” Mr. Stolar said. “I thought it was the least I could do to come back and thank them for saving my life.”