“My worst nightmare as a paramedic has come true.” Jayme Erickson shared her unimaginable, heartbreaking story in a Facebook post.
On November 15, Jayme responded to a car crash in Alberta, Canada unaware that the seriously-injured teenage girl she tended was her own daughter. Her daughter, Montana, would later die in hospital from her injuries.
She and fellow paramedic and friend, Richard Reed, arrived on the scene of a two vehicle accident. They found two patients with injuries, “the passenger being trapped and critically injured,” she wrote. “I sat in the car and tended to the critically injured patient, doing whatever I could while fire [fire fighters] extricated her.”
Jayme spent more than 20 minutes in the cold with the girl not realizing it was Montana because of her injuries. Once the girl was freed by firefighters, she was airlifted to Foothills Medical Centre hospital.
“My shift was over and I went home,” Jayme continued in her post. “Minutes after arriving home, my doorbell rang. My life was changed forever. RCMP were at my door, to inform me that my daughter had been in an accident. The critically injured patient I had just attended to, was my own flesh and blood. My only child. My mini-me. My daughter, Montana. Her injures were so horrific I did not even recognize her. I was taken to FMC [Foothills Medical Centre] to see my baby girl, and was informed her injuries were not compatible with life.”
Her daughter had been driving home with another person after a dog walk at a provincial park when the vehicle lost control and was struck by an oncoming truck. Montana was 17 years old.
The news has devastated her family and the community. At a remembrance event held at an Airdrie firehall, Jayme recalled her daughter as a “firecracker” who “would love fiercely if you were her friend. She would love you to the end of the world and back, and she would do anything for you.”
She revealed that Montana was an organ donor and had saved two people with her life-saving donations.
In her Facebook post, Jayme also voiced her profound grief. “I am shattered. I am broken. I am missing a piece of me.” She advised everyone to hold their loved ones close. She wrote, “Love with all your heart. Hold those close to you. Make memories. ‘If you’re going to love somebody, hold on as long and as strong as you can…’til you can’t.'”