“My worst nightmare as a paramedic has come true,” Erickson wrote, documenting the details of the Nov. 15 clash that killed her only child.
As an emergency responder, Erickson was the first to arrive at the scene of a serious car accident in rural Airdrie, Alberta, where she and her colleague found two teenagers who were driving home from a dog walk and injured after their vehicle collided with a truck .
The passenger was trapped, seriously injured and had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters, Erickson said. While the crew worked to remove her and fly her to a nearby hospital, Erickson stayed in the vehicle at the patient’s side for more than 20 minutes, tending to her, making sure her airway was clear and her later recalled, “whatever I could.”
After an ambulance flown the passenger to Foothills Medical Center in Calgary, Erickson returned home at the end of her shift.
Within minutes the doorbell rang. It was the police who informed her that her daughter Montana had been in an accident, so she rushed to the emergency room.
“Entering the room, to her horror, she found the girl she had been sitting with in the back of the crashed vehicle, alive…Jayme’s own daughter.” Jayme was unknowingly keeping her own daughter alive,” fellow paramedic Richard Reed told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.
Montana died on November 18, three days after the crash, after doctors told Erickson that Montana’s injuries were “incompatible with life.”
The driver of the car and the passenger of the truck survived, according to local media. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said an investigation into the crash was ongoing.
“The pain I feel is like no pain I have ever felt, it is indescribable,” Erickson wrote. “The seriously injured patient I had just treated was my own flesh and blood. my only child My mini me.”
Erickson wrote on social media that while she was “grateful” for 17 years with her daughter, she couldn’t help but wonder, “What would have become of you my little girl? who would you have been?”
After Montana’s death, other first responders have highlighted the emotional toll an ambulance takes, as many paramedics fear they may one day be called to an incident where they know a victim.
Several emergency responders joined Erickson, her husband and Reed, who is acting as the family spokesman, at Tuesday’s press conference to show their support. Many were visibly emotional when speaking to reporters.
“Jayme’s traumatic story affects first responders across the country,” said paramedic Deana Davison. “It shows once again that this horrible nightmare could happen to any of us.”
Speaking to reporters Tuesday after her daughter’s death, Erickson said Montana was “so beautiful.” She said the teenager was listed as an organ donor, so her death gave others a chance at life.
“We are so fortunate that our little girl is alive through others and that she saved other people after this tragedy,” Erickson said.