‘It gives me a lot of closure’: BC woman reconnects with couple who saved her life

Three British Columbians are happy to be reunited almost a year after tragic circumstances first brought them together.

Last summer, when Katie Potts was seriously injured in a horrific accident on the Coquihalla Highway, a couple from Salmon Arm, BC stopped to help.

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As a result, rescuers didn’t know Potts’ name and wondered if she had survived.

But in June, almost a year after the collision that almost took her life, Potts was able to find the couple she believes saved her.

It all started on the morning of July 11, 2021 when Potts and her boyfriend returned home from a camping trip. Their vehicle went off the road near Larson Hill and Potts was thrown from the vehicle along with her seat.

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“My boyfriend fell asleep behind the wheel and as far as I can remember I was asleep too and then I woke up and I was on the grass,” Potts said during an interview from her home in Maple Ridge.

“It was just a really scary feeling. I looked down. I saw that my leg was amputated at the crime scene. My hand felt pretty wet like it was in a puddle or something and I ended up losing three fingers.”

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Only later would Potts learn that she had injured her back as well.

“It was really scary, the doctor told my dad he wasn’t sure if I would ever walk again because of the damage to my back. I was three millimeters away from being paralyzed,” she said.

Potts said her boyfriend picked her up and took her to the highway.

“We waved down cars to get people’s attention as best we could and there were probably five to seven cars that drove past us, didn’t even glance or whatever until Marilyn and Jarrod were the ones who stopped,” remembered Töpfe.

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Marilyn and Jarrod Thomas were on their way to Vancouver this morning to see their daughter when they saw smoke near the highway.

“A young lad was waving his arms, so we stopped. I didn’t even know there was another person there until he threw them in the back seat of my car,” Jarrod Thomas said.

Potts felt weak, like she was dying, and said she called out for her boyfriend.

“Jarrod immediately pulled out his hoody thong when I said, ‘I feel like I’m dying!’ He ripped out his hoody thong and then untied my leg, and then my friend grabbed his hoody thong and tied my hand off to stop all the bleeding,” Potts said.

Marilyn Thomas said she tried to wet the young woman’s lips to make sure she wasn’t dehydrated.

“You just go to work and you’re just like, ‘Well, now we have to take care of her and do what we can,'” Marilyn Thomas said.

When first responders arrived, Potts was being treated medically and Marilyn and Jarrod Thomas were worried about what had happened to the badly injured young woman, whose name they didn’t know.

They wondered if she had made it.

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“We tried to find out about this accident on the freeway, but we couldn’t find anything,” said Marilyn Thomas.

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Potts also thought of the couple who stopped to help.

“I wouldn’t be here today if they hadn’t stopped because of that [of] when the ambulance came and I said to everyone, “I feel like I’m dying!” … They wouldn’t have been there in time because I would have lost way too much blood,” Potts said.

In June, nearly a year after the crash, Potts was able to locate the couple who saved her life thanks to a viral social media post by a family friend.

“She made a huge post and it just went viral. I wasn’t expecting it but I’m so grateful to everyone who did this for me because it gives me a lot of closure to finally know what and who I’m living for. It’s for her,” Potts said.


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Vancouver visitors rescue a distressed man in Skaha Lake – June 19, 2022

They’ve been on the phone, and Potts is hoping to visit the couple later this summer.

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“As soon as I heard her voice, I just burst into tears,” Potts said of speaking to Marilyn Thomas.

Rescuers were equally happy to find Potts had survived and is recovering.

“She is so brave and just so resilient. She’s just a wonderful young lady,” said Marilyn Thomas.

“We are not guardian angels. We are not heroes. We’re just normal people who’ve done everything normal people should be doing, and that’s stop and help.”

Despite her doctor’s concerns, Potts is walking again and, having fitted her first prosthetic water leg, is looking forward to swimming with her niece.

“I couldn’t enjoy these little things without Marylin and Jarrod. Every morning I just wake up and thank them,” Potts said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8962309/it-gives-me-a-lot-of-closure-b-c-woman-reconnects-with-couple-who-saved-her-life/ ‘It gives me a lot of closure’: BC woman reconnects with couple who saved her life

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