It is one thing to be a paramedic striving to save a stranger's life, and it's another to be a mother on the verge of losing one's own child. Never did Jayme Erickson imagine that one day, she would have to be both.
Erickson is an emergency medical technician worker in Alberta, Canada. At 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, she was dispatched to rescue the victims of a two-vehicle crash in the city of Airdrie.
In a Facebook post four days later, the mother of one shared how that fateful day brought her "worst nightmare as a paramedic" to life, as the victim she was trying to save was her own 17-year-old daughter, Montana Dobry.
"Upon arrival, we found two patients with injuries, the passenger being trapped and critically injured," Erickson recalled. According to fellow paramedic Richard Reed, the driver was able to get out of the vehicle.
He said that the victims, who were both in their teens, were on the road after walking their dogs at Big Hill Springs park. Things turned sideways when their car lost control and was hit by an oncoming truck.
Erickson continued, "I sat in the car and tended to the critically injured patient, doing whatever I could while [firefighters] extricated her." After the patient has been removed from the vehicle, she was airlifted to Foothills Medical Centre via STARS Air Ambulance.
Erickson ended her shift then, and a representative of the air ambulance organization told TODAY.com that the patient was in critical condition upon arrival at the hospital.
Shortly after arriving home, the paramedic got the shock of her life. "My life was changed forever. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) were at my door, to inform me that my daughter had been in an accident," Erickson said.
"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 injuries were so horrific I did not even recognize her," she added. "I was taken to FMC to see my baby girl, and was informed her injuries were not compatible with life."
In a press conference on Nov. 22, Reed recounted how Erickson made every effort to rescue her daughter and that she even felt sorry for the family that the teen will leave behind.
"Despite being a cold evening, Jayme stayed in the vehicle for over 20 minutes, ensuring the patient's C-spine was stable and that her airway was clear," Reed said. "On her way back, she expressed the grief [and] frustration to her partner, knowing that tonight, a family would likely lose their daughter, sister, and grandchild."
"Jayme unknowingly was keeping her own daughter alive—as both a parent and a first responder," he added. "I can tell you, this is beyond a nightmare."
Montana passed away on Nov. 19, four days after the accident. "Today we officially said goodbye to my little girl," Erickson wrote in her Facebook post. "I cannot help but be angry for the short amount of time I was given with her. 17 years was not long enough."
"I love you more than anything in this world," she added. "I will cherish the memories we made and the time we had together. I am shattered. I am broken. I am missing a piece of me. I am left to pick up the pieces and expected to carry on. Love with all your heart."