HUNTERSVILLE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A young woman who survived a near-death experience got to meet the people who helped save her life. It was a moment an Iredell County EMS crew had been waiting for.
They hugged and laughed with Michelle Reinhardt, the mother of the woman whose life the EMS workers saved. It was a much happier visit than the first time they met. Last June a devastating crash brought them together.
Michelle’s daughter, Nastasha, hit a construction vehicle on Interstate-77. It happened just before the Brawley School Road Exit.
The work truck pulled out in front of her, according to Highway Patrol. One of the paramedics, Madison Drawdy, held Nastasha's hand as firefighters cut the roof off her car.
"I had her hand multiple times, telling her it's going to be OK. It's going to be OK. We're going to get you out. We're here. It's going to be ok," Madison said.
She climbed inside the car to give Nastasha oxygen and start an IV. Drawdy's unborn baby went along on the rescue. "I remember I was too pregnant to zip up my gear so my supervisor had to come over and help me and zip it up for me," she said.
That was the last time they saw the young driver, until now. After surgeries and rehabilitation, Nastasha Reinhardt saw the team of women who helped save her life, and of course Drawdy’s baby bump.
"She ain't have that baby yet," Nastasha said.
"It's still cooking," Madison replied.
"You got it in the car with me?" Nastasha asked. "Thank you!"
It's a reunion they never thought would happen.
"I didn't know who saved me. I thought it was a bunch of guys. I didn't know it was a crew full of women. That's amazing," Nastasha tearfully said.
All three paramedics who were there that night made it for the reunion. They laughed, cried, and shared real challenges about recovery, together.
"Have you had any fears riding in the car since then?"
"Yeah, I get a little anxiety," Nastasha said.
Nastasha talked about what happened before the wreck.
"My friend Bree said we were going to meet at Hot Tacos for Taco Tuesday. That's how I remember it was Tuesday. I was going to get tacos. Never made it to get tacos," she said.
The paramedics filled in the gaps of what happened after.
"You had not said anything and then all of a sudden you started hollering for your momma. The closer we got to the hospital in Charlotte you started waking up."
FOX 46 Charlotte helped coordinate the reunion thanks to Kristy Smyre who saw the station's report and reached out. "I saw the interview on TV and we were like, oh my goodness, that's her, our patient from the wreck…I really didn't know. I was nervous about reaching out and I thought you wouldn't even answer, but you did pretty quickly."
A group of women, once strangers, are now family.
“I can say thank you on camera, but to actually thank them in person is amazing."
Nastasha and her mom Michelle are still looking for the first woman who stopped and helped Nastasha following the crash. If you know her, please reach out so we can help arrange a reunion.