‘It gives me a lot of closure’: BC woman reconnects with couple who saved her life

Three British Columbians are happy to be reunited nearly a year after tragic circumstances first brought them together.

Last summer, when Katie Potts was seriously injured in a horrific crash on the Coquihalla Highway, a couple from Salmon Arm, BC, pulled over to help.

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In the aftermath, rescuers did not know Potts’ name and wondered if she had survived.

However, in June, nearly a year after the crash that nearly cost her life, Potts was able to reunite with the couple she says saved her.

It all started on the morning of July 11, 2021 when Potts and her boyfriend were returning home from a camping trip. Their vehicle left the road near Larson Hill and Potts and his seat were ejected from the vehicle.

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« My boyfriend fell asleep at the wheel and from what I remember I was sleeping too, then I woke up and was in the grass, » Potts said in an interview from his house in Maple Ridge.

« It was just a really scary feeling. I looked down. I saw that my leg had been amputated at the scene. My hand was pretty wet like it was in a puddle or something. that and I ended up losing three fingers.

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It wasn’t until later that Potts learned that she also injured her back.

« It was really scary, the doctor told my dad he wasn’t sure if I could walk again because of the damage to my back. I was three millimeters away from being paralyzed, » a- she declared.

Potts said her boyfriend picked her up and took her to the freeway.

« We were waving at cars trying to get people’s attention as best we could and there were probably about five to seven cars that passed us, didn’t even take a look or whatever. whatever, until Marilyn and Jarrod were the ones who stopped, » Pots recalled.

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Marilyn and Jarrod Thomas were on their way to Vancouver to see their daughter that morning when they saw smoke near the highway.

“A young man was waving his arms so we stopped. I didn’t even know there was another person there until he threw her in the back seat of my car,” Jarrod Thomas said.

Feeling weak, like she was dying, Potts said she called her boyfriend.

« Jarrod immediately pulled out his hoodie as soon as I said, ‘I feel like I’m going to die!’ He ripped the cord off his hoodie, then tied my leg up, and then my boyfriend grabbed the cord off his hoodie and tied my hand to stop any bleeding,” Potts said.

Marilyn Thomas said she tried to wet the young woman’s lips to make sure she was not dehydrated.

« You just go to work and you just say, ‘Well, now we have to take care of her and do whatever we can,' » Marilyn Thomas said.

When first responders arrived, Potts was taken for medical attention and Marilyn and Jarrod Thomas were worried about what had happened to the badly injured young woman whose name they did not know.

They wondered if she had succeeded.

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« We tried to find out about this accident on the freeway and we couldn’t find out anything, » said Marilyn Thomas.

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Potts also thought of the couple who had stopped to help.

« I wouldn’t be here today if they hadn’t stopped because [of] when the ambulance arrived and when I said to everyone, « I feel like I’m going to die!

In June, nearly a year after the accident, Potts was able to find the pair that saved his life thanks to a viral social media post by a family friend.

« She made a huge post and it went viral. I didn’t expect it, but I’m very grateful to everyone who did this for me, because it gives me a lot of conclusion to finally know for what and who I live for. It’s for them, » Potts said.

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They spoke on the phone and Potts hopes to visit the couple later this summer.

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« As soon as I heard his voice, I started to burst into tears, » Potts said of his conversation with Marilyn Thomas.

Rescuers were equally happy to learn that Potts had survived and was recovering.

“She is so brave and so resilient. She’s just a wonderful young woman,” said Marilyn Thomas.

“We are not guardian angels. We are not heroes. We are just regular people who have done all anyone should do and that is stop and help.

Despite her doctor’s concerns, Potts walks again and after getting her first prosthetic water leg, she looks forward to swimming with her niece.

« If it weren’t for Marylin and Jarrod, I couldn’t enjoy these little things. Every morning I wake up and say thank you to them, » Potts said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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