Tears flowed as Rockford resident Kara Bye thanked Boone County first responders.
Last year, she was in a car accident where she had to be extricated with extensive injuries. Thursday, she was reunited with her heroes.
“I am so thankful for what you guys did for me and my family,” said Bye. “I look at my kids everyday and they wouldn’t have me as their mother if it weren’t for these people. They saved my life.”
Bye had multiple fractured bones including her skull, the young mother of three says she spent two weeks at the hospital.
“Just walking in and seeing all the people that helped me that day is so amazing,” said Bye. ” I’m so thankful.”
OSF Lifeline paramedic Angel Cardona was among those first on the scene, he’s happy to see Bye’s full recovery.
“When I was told about this reunion, I mentioned that I was just thinking about this call,” said Cardona. “I had always wondered what had happened to the patient.”
Bye’s car was found flipped over near Route 76 and Caledonia Road.
Boone County firefighter Matthew Eby was also on scene and rode in the ambulance to assist.
“Usually we don’t see this very often,” said Eby. “We usually don’t know what the outcome is for most patients. It’s kind of nice to see it and actually get thanked for it.”
Bye says she had to learn to walk all over again and often wanted to give up — but is happy the situation has now come full circle.
“I was tired and I would just look at [my kids] and said I can’t give up,” said Bye. “I want them to see that no matter what happens to you in life, you can do anything.”
Bye says after her experience, she now aspires to work for the sheriff’s department and looks forward to being a first responder herself.