The scene was fresh, intense and full of devastation. The 100-degree desert heat didn’t seem to make things any better. A two-car crash just happened on a dangerous corner of a mountainside road. Luckily, those in one car escaped without any major injuries, or even casualties. The driver in the second car wasn’t so lucky. He was pinned in by the steering wheel and not able free himself from the wreckage. To make matters worse, gasoline was pouring from the car. A miracle needed to happen, and it needed to happen fast. That miracle came in the form of a nurse with 20 years of experience in the Emergency Room named Christian Neeriemer.
It was one of those weird almost divine movements that all nurses seem to experience multiple times throughout their lives. It seems nurses are always the first ones on the scene when someone is hurt, whether it is a broken arm from a slip and fall or a serious injury from a head-on collision. Christian was traveling home with his wife and skeptical in-laws when they came upon the wreck. Christian’s nursing skills immediately took over, and he jumped into action. He rushed from his vehicle to check on the seriously injured man. The man was pinned in the front seat, and the steering wheel was in the man’s lap. On his way to him, Christian noticed the gasoline spilling onto the pavement. He called for a bystander to get a fire extinguisher just in case the car went up in flames. Christian’s main goal was to calm the driver down and get him stabilized until the paramedics arrived. Christian went to the back seat, reached over the front seat and held the driver’s head to keep it from moving. Christian didn’t want the man to hurt himself more than he already was, especially if he had internal injuries.
Once the man was stable, Christian needed to check his lungs to make sure he was not breathing in blood. He did not want to leave the man by himself, so Christian asked his father-in-law to get a stethoscope from the car. Luckily, the man was not breathing in blood. It looked like he would make it until the paramedics could arrive. Eventually the paramedics arrived with emergency responders. The Jaws of Life and other hydraulic tools were used to reach the driver and free him from the wreckage. Soon after emergency responders arrived, traffic started to flow again, and Christian returned home with his family.
Christian never got the driver’s name in the crash, but he was confident the driver would survive to see his family and drive another day. In his life as a nurse it was just another day, helping those who are in need. But, in his life as a son-in-law it was an extraordinary day. After seeing Christian in action and saving lives, his in-laws were no longer skeptical but certain he was the right fit for their family.
Christian Neeriemer is a traveling nurse fulfilling the mission of TRS to comfort and restore lives across the nation. If you have a story of Comforting and Restoring Lives, please share it with TRS! We love to hear how nurses are changing lives on a daily basis.