KLAMATH FALLS, OR. - It was Sunday; one packet case exam, the only day the client would be available and he lived 96 miles away. On a good day, that was a three hour exam, but today, the conditions were almost a white-out, probably the worst snow storm Robbin had ever seen. But, she bundled up in everything warm she could find, loaded her dog in the back of her car for company and set off a little before 7:00AM for the exam scheduled for 10:30AM.
9:20AM – Still miles from her appointment, Robbin crawled along the unplowed highway through heavily falling snow, almost unable to discern the edges of the road, periodically glancing in her rearview mirror and talking to her dog. She had noticed an SUV following her and checked occasionally just to see if it was still there; nice to know she wasn’t out here all alone. She checked again, just in time to see the SUV start sliding, go into a spin off the highway and roll 2½ times down the 40’-50’ embankment before landing upside down, out of view from the highway.
Robbin grabbed for her cell phone (Would there be any reception in this remote area?) and called 911, giving them the location and brief details. As she eased down the embankment toward the overturned SUV, she could hear cries of children. Peering inside the broken back window, everything looked as though it had been through a blender. A man’s voice informed her there were 5 children between 9 months and 7 years old, himself and his wife who was 5 months pregnant.
As an R.N., Robbin believed in being prepared and always carried myriad medical supplies with her. She assessed the conditions of each passenger and was grateful there were no serious injuries; mostly cuts, bumps and bruises. Still, there was a high risk of them going into shock and/or hypothermia especially since they were dressed only in light clothing or pajamas.
After calling her client to let him know she would most likely be late and updating 911, she cautiously began freeing the passengers, easing them gently out the rear window of the vehicle. By this time, other travelers had arrived on the scene and offered their assistance transporting each person carefully up the embankment to safety, blankets and warm vehicles. When the EMT/Paramedics arrived, Robbin gave them an accounting of each person and knowing everything was now in good hands, continued her trip.
As she arrived at her appointment, she glanced at the clock – 10:35AM. Not bad!!!
SUNDAY – 3:00PM Sure feels good to be home!! Nine hours for one exam and a Christmas Miracle. Just another day at the office; but certainly not ordinary.
MONDAY – The events of yesterday were beginning to set in and Robbin felt exhausted. She had one exam today, 9:00AM, another packet case. This case had already been rescheduled, so she had to do it. Then, she hoped for some rest.
When she arrived, the client opened the door looking pretty rough around the edges. He apologized, telling her he had a pretty rough day yesterday. He had driven to Lakeview in the middle of the snow storm. Robbin asked him if he had seen the accident in the Quartz Mountain area. He told her that was his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, “How do you know about that?” As she began recounting her experience, a man followed by 5 small children came in from another room. She recognized them all instantly. The father, giving Robbin a big hug, asked “Where did you go? You came out of nowhere, saved our lives and then, just vanished.” Robbin told him he had a lot more color in his face than when she had last seen him. Everyone was pretty shaken up but they were doing fine. His wife was hospitalized and released but would be confined to bed rest for awhile. They felt very lucky and blessed.
ROBBIN IS AN EVERYDAY HERO!