On August 13, 2012, 27-year-old Jenelle Johansson of Ladner, B.C., was critically injured when a plane she was traveling in tragically crashed near Brenda Mines off the Coquihalla Connector Highway. Jenelle lay unconscious in a heavily wooded area for more than 2 hours before help was finally able to reach her. Jenelle’s injuries were life threatening. Rescuers knew their time was limited, and they needed to transport Jenelle to a hospital immediately.
Jenelle was airlifted to Royal Inland Hospital and arrived in the trauma room unconscious and in critical condition. Her injuries were extensive. She had a torn aorta, multiple broken bones, several facial lacerations, and a crushed nose. The trauma team worked quickly to stabilize Jenelle and prepare her to be air transferred to Vancouver General Hospital the next morning, where she spent over a month receiving multiple surgeries.
It is a miracle that Jenelle is here today and thriving. While she is still awaiting further cosmetic surgeries for the injuries she sustained to her face, one year after the accident she is back to doing the things she loves most including yoga, golfing, and photography. She is determined that she will run again soon.
“I owe the world to the phenomenal doctors and nurses who were extremely professional and showed that they genuinely cared,” said Jenelle recently. During such a stressful time for her family, they felt confident that Jenelle was in good hands and are so very grateful for the amazing care and support they received from the trauma team.
Although Jenelle was a patient at Royal Inland Hospital for just 1 day, her time spent in the trauma room made the difference between life and death – as it does for so many patients. Having access to a tertiary trauma center is imperative to offering residents in both Kamloops and neighbouring communities, as well as visitors like Jenelle to our beautiful region, the exceptional treatment needed when it is often least expected.
In the last few years, the number of patients admitted to the ER has been rising at a staggering rate, and will continue to do so. This past year alone, more than
57,000 patients were admitted to department. This is why it’s crucial to keep the department up-to-date and find new ways to best make use of the current space that we have.