A miraculous survival thanks to first aid

Topics: Quebec, First Aid and CPR
September 11, 2015

Josée Cloutier and her husband are motorcycle enthusiasts and like to hit the road in their free time. "I love discovering new destinations. It's a real sense of escape, my way of enjoying life," she said.

One beautiful July morning, they decided to set out on a trip in Vermont with three other couples. "I always wear protective equipment and am careful on the road. My husband and I installed a communication system in our helmets so we can be extra aware," Josée explained.

She never expected that her life would turn upside down. The last thing she remembers was getting on her bike after lunch. Three days later, she regained consciousness in a hospital room with multiple fractures, a punctured lung, and a head injury.

"We'll never truly know what caused the accident. My husband told me that an hour after leaving the restaurant, he heard me screaming through his headset. I had fallen 13 feet into a ravine. I was blue and was no longer breathing. I was lucky that someone in our group knew first aid," she said.

Josée works at the Red Cross and knows the importance of being protected, not biking alone, and carrying a first aid kit. "Without my equipment, I can't imagine what state I would be in. But without my friend, I wouldn't even be here today," said Josée. Knowing living-saving skills made all the difference.

While her injuries were incredibly painful, worrying about the consequences drained her completely. "Would I be able to go back to normal life? When would I be able to return to work? It's not only psychologically difficult for the person injured, but also for family members reliving the event. After being hospitalized for two weeks, I started rehabilitation. Every bit of strength or range of motion I regain is a victory. I work hard, am optimistic about the future, and hope to one day pursue my passion for motorcycles once again," she said.
 
First aid training is an opportunity to learn the skills, techniques, and gain the self-confidence needed to respond effectively in an emergency. "One thing is certain: first aid is not just for emergency responders and first aid providers, but for everyone. One simple action can change a life. Know what to do should an accident happen,” advised Josée.
 
The Red Cross first aid program offers a wide range of first aid and CPR courses .

Find out what courses are available in your community.