The Schick family packed their bags in Morton and headed off to Mexico. Today marks one year since they realized the start of 2018 would be anything but ordinary.
With a smile that stretches from ear to ear and a laugh you can hear across the room, Jamie Schick is enjoying the little moments in life, like decorating cookies with her mom and cousin.
“I thank god everyday for giving me another day on this earth,” said Schick.
In 2017, first responders arrived to a car crash between two vehicles in Deer Creek where they found Schick unresponsive.
She was life-flighted to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. Schick’s co-workers started working on a patient they didn’t realize was one of their own colleagues.
Months later, Schick remembered the moments before the impact. “Being able to see the truck pull out in front of me and to just have that fear knowing that there was nothing I can do, the first thing i did was slam on the brakes,” said Schick. “It just happened so fast, the couple seconds I had and I just remember thinking this is it.”
One of the nurses of OSF, Jen Kay, explained her thoughts while tending to her friend. “When we found out it was her it takes a kick to your heart. When we do get those cases we lean on each other just like any other family would. When you have to do something like that on a family member it does stick out,” said Kay.
“When I was in the hospital just laying in the bed and kind of figuring out what exactly happened to me and my injuries, I always wondered what would it be like in a year,” said Schick. “What things I wouldn’t be able to do because of my injuries.”
365 days later and there’s little the 24-year-old can’t do.
Schick went back to work in the emergency department at OSF in May. Many emotions were running high as her coworkers welcomed her back with open arms.
“I almost lost my life and here I am still able to do the things I like and it’s hard to wrap my head around it all. I’m still trying to process everything especially when i see my car and all the pictures, what my family went through during that time and how far I’ve come it just makes me teary eyed but it’s more tears of joy.”
That joy spreads each second she spends helping others in the emergency room, leaning on her coworkers when needed.
Including nurse Kay, who was in the trauma room that morning trying to save Schick’s life. “We just have this special relationship that we’ve never had before and it’s kind of cool,” said Kay.
Schick’s recovery hasn’t been easy. She spent hours in therapy sessions trying to build up her muscles.
With the recent cold weather, her legs get stiff from time to time but you’d never know that if she didn’t let her secret slip. Her positive spirit is always shining.
“School is as good as nursing school goes. It’s always been super hard but after my accident there’s more challenges that I have to deal with,” said Schick.
It can sometimes be tough to retain information because of her brain injuries; however, she’s in speech and cognitive therapy along with mental therapy for PTSD.
According to Schick, “As soon as my pain wanted to go away I just wanted to jump back into action and I realized that it really takes a toll on you. Your body gets more fatigued and you still have a lot of healing going on even though you feel like you’re ready to go. The hardest part was trying to slow down.”
Now she finally has a chance to, as she has a break before starting her final semester of nursing school.
You may see Schick driving through Morton, trying to take in the feeling of being behind the wheel.
According to Schick, her recovery was a team effort. “If you can look past the bad, you can see all the good and you can see that the struggles are there to make you stronger. It’s been quite a ride but I couldn’t have done it without my support group and prayer warriors so thank you.”
“It’s a happy moment because she’s here and she’s back to work and finishing up school. It’s a good anniversary and usually we don’t get those,” said Kay.
Schick said it feels surreal that she’s graduating in May and that she’s one step closer to being a nurse, the career she’s always dreamed of.