Without the STARS air ambulance, Carla Schneider of Bentley, wouldn’t have been standing at the head of a crowded room sharing her story on Thursday morning in Sylvan Lake at the grand opening of the STARS Lottery dream home built by Falcon Homes.
During the grand opening of the Lottery home, Schneider told of how she had been in a life altering motor vehicle accident in 2004.
At the time she had been driving a vehicle full of paint. She recalls the day well, detailing how her vehicle was t-boned, rolling two and a half times before landing upside down. In turn, vaporizing the paint she had been transporting – leaving her literally drowning in two and a half litres of paint.
Following an hour and half of emergency workers struggling to free her from the vehicle, she was flown by a STARS air ambulance to a hospital in Edmonton.
“I had a grand mal seizure and actually flat lined and had to be resuscitated – they knew I would never survive ground transportation to Edmonton. STARS was called,” said Schneider to attendees at the grand opening, holding back tears as she continued. “They kept me unconscious during the entire journey – because of the amount of paint I had inhaled they were very concerned my brain was not getting enough oxygen so they kept me hyperventilated to keep the oxygen going to my lungs the entire ride.”
She added STARS also had a piece of equipment on the helicopter that kept her eyes open, continuously flushing the paint from them to try save her vision.
Due to the two and a half litres of paint she had inhaled and a brain injury, she suffered the loss of her right eye as well as and injuries to her neck, back and shoulder. Following her accident she had many challenges to overcome, but Schneider says she thanks STARS daily for saving her life.
“I can honestly tell you – I would not be here, I would not be able to look at you if it wasn’t for STARS. STARS is a life giving organization,” she said. “Tickets are $25. How many times can you say $25 saved a life? Your donations and your support of STARS really does save lives.”
The furnished grand prize home in Sylvan Lake where Schneider shared her STARS story is one of four throughout the province and is worth over $945,000. 3,200 prizes are available this year and are valued at $5.6 million. Other prizes included a ‘home away from home’ truck-trailer combo valued at $141,503, as well as a car, vacation, cash package which includes a 2016 Audi TT Quatro Coupe and seven nights for two adults in London, England with $5,000 cash.
During the grand opening on Thursday, Jeffery Quick, chief financial officer and executive vice president of STARS Foundation, explained in 2014-15 STARS flew 1,839 missions.Six to Sylvan Lake, 68 to Red Deer, 36 to Rocky Mountain House, 19 to Olds, 18 to Stettler and 17 to Ponoka. He added Central Alberta is one of their most flown to areas and also one of the largest supporters of the Lottery.
The annual lottery raises funds for the air ambulance service, with tickets set at $25 and available at the dream home in Sylvan Lake or online at www.starslotteryalberta.ca.