Thanks to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance, Chelsey sees the promise of a long life.

Chelsey's Story

It was a relaxing summer day last July when my friends and I were out tubing on the Little River in North Carolina. My two friends and I were on a tube behind our boat when our driver made a quick turn to avoid another boat in the river. The boat missed the collision, but we did not.

The last thing I remember was crashing.

I hit the side of the boat and flew onto the deck. When the paramedics arrived, they knew immediately that we needed the Nightingale.

I had broken my arm, dislocated my elbow, shattered my spleen, damaged my liver and one of my kidneys was beyond repair. When the doctors could not stabilize my blood pressure, they found a hole in my heart that needed immediate surgery. The doctors saved my life, and after a long 30-day stay in the hospital, I finally went home!

It felt like a series of miracles that allowed me to survive. I am now back to being a normal teenager; getting back to cheerleading and shopping for my senior prom dress. I plan to graduate high school in June, so I am looking at college and programs to pursue my new interest – a career as a physician’s assistant. Surviving such a traumatic event has made me appreciate everything I have and all that lies ahead. Thanks to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance, I see the promise of a long life!

- Chelsey
Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance patient