An off-duty nurse is being called a hero for saving a Moncton-area woman, who was hit by a van when crossing a busy intersection in Bangor, Me., on Monday.
Sandra Samuel, 62, of Lutes Mountain, and Carole Day, 66, of Halifax, were hit at approximately 6 p.m. while crossing a busy street in Bangor.
Day was hurt in the accident but her sister’s injuries were far worse.
Samuel and Day were fortunate that Bonnie Martin, an off-duty nurse, was in the area when the accident happened.
The nurse said she saw the van hit the two women and once she could confirm Day was not in danger, she ran over to Samuel, who she says was choking on her own blood.
"Got gloves, used gauze in my kit to maintain her airway and just kept cleaning out her mouth with my hand," she said.
Martin said the Bangor Fire Department arrived within minutes and brought the sisters to the Eastern Maine Medical Centre, where Samuel remains in critical but stable condition.
The nurse said it is unlikely Samuel would be recovering right now in a hospital if she hadn’t been close to the accident.
"In my professional opinion, absolutely she would have. She had seconds, literally seconds where that would not have been a good outcome," Martin said.
"I recognized that she had multiple trauma, but everything else was irrelevant if I didn't maintain her airway. Once I wrapped myself around the fact that she was breathing and had a pulse I just maintained it, I just kept going."
Martin has been hailed as a hero since the accident but she admits it took a lot to persevere through such a horrific scene.
"Ordinary people can do extraordinary things if you just choose to get involved," she said.
The man driving the vehicle says he did not see the women, so no charges are expected to be laid.
In the meantime, the City of Bangor has applied for a $167,000 state transportation grant to add sidewalks in the area where this week's accident took place.