Ann Shoemaker, RN
Start Date: 1978
A GLIMMER OF HOPE IN THE FACE OF TRAGEDY
I'll never forget the night of the Air Florida crash in 1982. I was a staff nurse in MedSTAR, and was working that snowy afternoon. We got the call that the plane had gone down, and we immediately went into disaster mode, preparing for multiple patients. We waited quite a while for anyone to make it to MedSTAR, because it was so hard to rescue people from the river, but finally Nikki Felch, our first and only patient, arrived. She was hypothermic and in acute respiratory distress, and she needed surgery immediately. But before they intubated her, I remember thinking that someone who loves her knows that she was on that plane. Fortunately, in spite of her shivering, I was able to get her to tell me her name and even give me a phone number. I will never, ever forget her father's reaction when I called. There were so few survivors, and he was so overcome with emotion he could hardly speak. I was so glad that I was able to tell him that his daughter was alive.