(WFRV) – As National Nurses Week comes to a close, a Wisconsin resident is thanking the nurses whom he says saved his and his son’s life after they were involved in what he says should have been a deadly crash.
On June 12, 2020, Ross Kopfer and his son were on their way to a baseball game when they were involved in a crash with a semi-truck on an interstate near Madison.
“When you think of surreal events in your life you can never prepare for something like that. It just happened. and it was a scene from hell… It’s hard to describe what we saw that day,” recalled Kopfer.
After impact, and once both the vehicle and semi came to a halt, flames started to ignite at the scene. Because of their seatbelts and injuries, neither Kopfer nor his son was able to get out of the burning vehicle on their own.
“We were trapped in because of seatbelts and injuries and we couldn’t get out,” recalled Kopfer.
Fortunately, four brave samaritans came to their aid and pulled both Kopfer and his son out of the burning vehicle just moments before it exploded.
“Luckily there were four good samaritans there that had the courage to jump into our burning truck and pull (my son) and me out… Seconds after we were pulled out, the truck blew up,” shared Kopfer.
Kopfer and his son were rushed to the hospital to receive care for their injuries. Kopfer’s son recovered from said injuries.
However, for Kopfer, his journey to recovery would prove to be another obstacle to overcome.
Kopfer remained in the hospital for the next two months due to the severity of his injuries. And because of the ongoing pandemic and the hospital’s no visitors policy these two months became bleak for Kopfer as family and friends couldn’t be there in person to offer him support as he fought for his life.
Seeing this need, nurses at the hospital worked together to support Kopfer through it all with their care and words of encouragement. It’s this support that Kopfer believes saved his life.
“Because of the lack of visitors, they (nurses) were my family. They were my only link to living. Unless you’ve been in this situation you don’t understand how few things in that situation there are to live for and I lived for the nurses coming in and talking to me,” explained Kopfer.
Now, two years after the crash, Kopfer is reuniting with those same nurses to say ‘thank you.’
“The nurses saved my life, no question. It’s the day-to-day minute to minute stuff that nurses do that saved not only saved my life, my son’s life. I’m forever grateful,” shared Kopfer.
Earlier this week, Kopfer had an emotional reunion with several of his nurses from various departments who were all excited to see him doing well.
“As an intensive care unit nurse, we don’t often get to see the outcomes with patients,” said trauma and life support center Jennifer Milz. “Ross was a memorable patient. To see him now doing so well, this is why we do what we do, this is as rewarding as it gets.”
The nurses from the surgical trauma unit also attended the in-person reunion. These nurses included: Kelsey Spaith-Hilton, Lisa Pine, Vanessa Gates, and Jessica Fall.