Girl meets doctors who saved her life

CNC
Added On August 30, 2016

It takes just two words to describe Fera Heckman's excitement.

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) FERA HECKMAN, Severely injured in a rollover accident

"Pretty amazing."

Today she's getting the VIP treatment at avera e-care. The telemedicine network that played a critical role in her young life.

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) MELISSA HECKMAN, Fera's mother

"Just for her to be able to walk around when the first time she ever met Dr. Skow she was hanging on to her life, you know, by a thread?  So it could've totally gone a different way and we're very thankful. amazed to be here."

Eight weeks ago. Fera was involved in an a-t-v accident in rural Montana. A rollover that left her body crushed.

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) FERA HECKMAN, Severely injured in a rollover accident

"I remember somebody saying, 'you're gone be ok.' and then I remember going in the hospital car."

Her mother Melissa called 911. But they were still in the middle of nowhere. More than an hour away from sheridan memorial hospital.

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) MELISSA HECKMAN, Fera's mother

"And I knew it was a little hospital. And I did not know what kind of care was going to be waiting for us on the other end."

What the Heckman's didn't know was that efforts to save their daughters life had already begun.  

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) DR. BRIAN SKOW, Avera emergency medicine specialist

"In this case, we were able to bring our level one trauma center to them."

Dr. Brian Skow was the e-emergency physician on duty that day. Through avera e-care. His team coordinated the trauma room, got a flight team on their way, and from his TV monitor in Sioux Falls. Dr. Skow's voice directed the hands of the physician's assistant. Almost 700 miles away.

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) MELISSA HECKMAN, Fera's mother

"And him just to be so separate but so right there and be able to just calmly tell them everything if he were just standing right there."

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) DR. BRIAN SKOW, Avera emergency medicine specialist

"It was essentially a marathon session. At the end, both of us were just exhausted and she did an incredible job, essentially saving Fera's life."

Since then. Fera has since had surgeries to fix two collapsed lungs. along with numerous spine, rib, and arm fractures.

Which makes this day even more incredible?

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) Dr. Skow

"To see her up and walking and doing so well is just amazing."

Not only was this visiting a chance for Fera and her family to say thank you. She got to see how Dr. Skow makes medical MAGIC.

Meeting your heroes is, by itself, a special experience. but these two share a bond stronger than just doctor and patient. You see. Fera's birthday is September 16th.

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) FERA HECKMAN, Severely injured in a rollover accident

"The same day is Dr. Skow's birthday."

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) Dr. Skow

"Which is pretty remarkable, so I’ll never forget her birthday?"

Her body may still be healing but what can't be broken. Is the fearless spirit of this North Dakota girl?

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) Reporter

"You're not afraid of getting back on an ATV or anything like that are you?"

SOUNDBITE: (ENGLISH) FERA HECKMAN, Severely injured in a rollover accident

"Next time I'm driving."