On a sweltering day in Wetumpka, Alabama, Jenelle was driving her normal commute when suddenly, the car in front of her abruptly stopped and she crashed into it. Unfortunately, this was not just a routine fender bender; this was a life or death accident. When Janelle’s car collided with the car ahead of her she was very badly injured. The front of Janelle’s car was crushed and her airbags were deployed. She was trapped inside of the car and felt smothered by the airbags. She looked down at the floor and saw her foot was badly injured and she was bleeding heavily. Janelle was unable to get her doors to unlock or her windows to roll down. She was afraid and felt as though she was suffocating when suddenly, a woman appeared beside her car. “Don’t move, don’t move. I’m going to help you!”
What Janelle and her guardian angel Laurie didn’t know was that the accident had been reported to police as an accident without injuries. The local authorities didn’t know that Janelle was bleeding profusely and needed help if she was going to survive.
“My angel [Laurie] saw my foot and could see that I was bleeding profusely and had bones sticking out of my foot. She took her belt off and put a tourniquet on me. She kneeled down and shielded my injury so that I could not see it and she kept telling me, ‘You’re going to be okay, don’t move you’re going to be okay.’”
“After twenty minutes no one came. No one stopped to help Laurie. The whole time I was bleeding… the police didn’t come and the ambulance didn’t come. Finally the volunteer fire department came and they took one look and said, ‘We need to call the ambulance’. They called the ambulance and all this time Laurie had my foot shielded and kept talking to me, keeping me calm.”
Finally the ambulance arrived and loaded Janelle onto a gurney. They told the two women that they would be unable to take Janelle to the hospital by ambulance and that they were going to need to use a helicopter to transport her. “Laurie stayed with me until they loaded me into the helicopter.”
“I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it because I knew that when they put you into a helicopter it’s because you’re in really bad shape.”
Laurie returned to her office where she began to cry after the realization that she had saved Janelle’s life began to sink in. [Read more about Laurie’s heroic story here] She couldn’t bear not knowing how Janelle was doing. She felt that she was still needed so she and her family got in the car and headed to the hospital where Janelle was being treated for her injuries.
Janelle went into emergency surgery for her life-threatening injuries. Her son met Laurie, his mother’s guardian angel, and her family in the waiting room. They all got acquainted while they anxiously waited to find out if Janelle was going to be okay and if she was going to have to have her foot amputated.
“The trauma team met me at the hospital and while we were on the elevator I kept hearing them say, ‘that foot’s gotta be amputated, that foot’s gotta be amputated’”.
Thanks to Laurie’s quick thinking, her MyMedic MyFAK and her RATS Tourniquet, Janelle not only survived her car crash, but did not need to have her foot amputated. She suffered from a fractured collar bone, fractured sternum, fractured ribs, and a nearly severed foot but thanks to the doctors and her guardian angel Laurie, she was able to survive to tell her story.
“I cannot tell her what a guardian angel she was. She took the next day off from work and she came to visit me while I was in the ICU. Both of us had an emotional breakdown because I still had my foot but I had 25 screws and 2 plates in it.”
“When I was moved out of ICU she and her husband and 3 kids came. Her little 3-year-old climbed into bed with me, brought me balloons and a pack of snacks. She rubbed my arm and said, ‘Miss ‘Nell, do you feel better?’. They are such a precious family”.
“She truly saved my life. I could have suffocated or bled to death. An artery was severed and my foot was just dangling. The doctor said that he had a hard, hard time putting it back together. I’m not out of the woods yet.”
Laurie and her family have continued to visit Janelle through the course of her recovery and she is now affectionately known as “Grandma Nell”.
“Laurie is a God sent guardian angel. She is beautiful on the inside and the outside. I cannot tell you what a humanitarian & hero she is to me. I would not be sitting here talking to you had it not been for her. It was FOURTY MINUTES that she stayed and comforted me and tried to stop the bleeding. I cannot find enough words to thank her.”