By Carmen Gutierrez
Looking at the helicopters parked in front of me at VVRMC’s Air Evac pad, I could not help but think how important this service would be to our community.
Just a little over 7 months ago, I was involved in a tragic accident on Eagle Pass hill This accident claimed the life of a close friend and colleague, DRHCC Finance Director Connie Mendoza of West Central Net.
The “distracted driver” also caused traumatic injuries to me, and serious injuries to my daughter Carmen Christina Gutierrez and DRHCC Director and friend Paulo Pacheco. After the Jaws of Life extracted me from the vehicle, all of us were transported to Val Verde Regional Medical Center as quickly as the ambulances could take us. I was placed in the ER room to wait for the Air Lift helicopter to arrive and transport me to San Antonio. Although my pain was being managed, those minutes waiting seemed like hours and on this special ribbon cutting day for Air Evac, I felt relieved knowing that no longer would anyone have to wait on being airlifted to San Antonio. Eight surgeries later and wheelchair bound, I am at the ribbon cutting encouraged to hear that this service would be available and affordable to everyone.
The cost to transport me to San Antonio’s University Hospital was close to $59,000 and this was one-way. Wow! Also, I learned that not all insurances cover this life saving service.
Fortunately, my two group insurances were sufficient to cover this astronomical cost. Wanting to be on the cautious side, I signed up for this new Air Evac service at only $65.00 per year for an entire household, as a gift for our family. Quoting the famous words of Bill Keane,
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”