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Very Important Patient urges support for STARS

If it wasn’t for his ground and air paramedics, Barry Straza doesn’t think he would be alive today.
On September 27th, 2010, the Grande Prairie man was painting a ceiling using scaffolding, and was knocked out, falling seven feet to the concrete floor. He was taken by ambulance to the QEII, but needed to be flown to the University of Alberta hospital by STARS Air Ambulance.

“When you see and hear the stories of what they do, it’s amazing, and the level of patient care is absolutely astounding. Without this organization, there’d be a lot of people in the province and in Canada that wouldn’t be alive today.”

Getting there as fast as possible was key to getting him treatment for six internal skull fractures, two external, and a severely broken and dislocated shoulder. The flight was quick at an hour and 17 minutes, something both he and his doctors believed played a big role in his survival. After four weeks at U of A, Straza was expected to spend six months at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital but was released after only 13 days.

“Honest to God, if it wasn’t for them, I truly really would not be here. If it makes one person want to donate a little bit more or makes one person donate that hasn’t donated in the past, or just somebody to listen to me to realize and understand these guys really do awesome work, that’s a great day.”

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Straza shared his story at an open house Friday, celebrating STARS’ 30th anniversary. The local base was started in 2006 and since then nearly 1,700 patients have been treated.

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