Air Methods’ CareFlight Crews Reunite with Patient

Published by The Bee News

April 17, 2023

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“I Shouldn’t Be Alive”: One Year Post Accident Veteran Rallies Motorcycle Family to Give Thanks to First Responders Who Saved His Life

KINGMAN, AZ, April 17, 2023 – A little over a year ago, Dan McKeaney was in a horrific motorcycle accident with his wife Jeri. The couple were riding with the local chapter of Marine Riders, a nationwide organization formed to offer motorcycling camaraderie to active duty, veterans, and Navy Corpsman.

Every year around March 20, the local (Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah) chapters ride to Bagdad, AZ to commemorate the March 20, 2003 invasion of Bagdad, Iraq, of which some members of the Marine Riders were deployed. During the ride on March 26, 2022, McKeaney’s rear tire had a catastrophic failure causing McKeaney to lose control of the motorcycle at 65 MPH. CareFlight 66 was dispatched to the scene and transported McKeaney to the hospital. Jeri McKeaney was transported by ground to a local hospital but later required a transfer to another hospital and CareFlight 2 was dispatched for the interfacility transfer.

Both Dan and Jeri McKeaney suffered from severe road rash. Jeri McKeaney miraculously had no further injuries. Her husband, however, had a long road to recovery. Dan McKeaney was hospitalized for more than 71 days, which included a three-week medically induced coma.

“I shouldn’t be alive,” said Dan McKeaney, a Navy veteran. “I received extraordinary pre-hospital care from the CareFlight 66 team, and I’m alive today because of them.”

Recovering from 14 fractures, including the ribs on the left side, a bruised heart, a collapsed lung, a ruptured spleen, a torn meniscus in his right knee, a broken right hand, and multiple abrasions over his body, on April 15 – a year post accident – Dan and Jeri McKeaney got back on the bike and rode to Kingman to reunite with the crews to honor and appreciate them for their lifesaving care.

“We are grateful Dan wanted to honor the CareFlight teams this way,” said Air Methods Account Executive Valerie Yevzerova. “We don’t often get to reunite with patients after we provide care, so this is a special day for everyone.”

With more than 30 Marine Riders joining in the reunion, McKeaney presented both CareFlight teams with commemorative plaques and surprised them with challenge coins — an honorable tradition in military and first responders circles, these coins bear the organization’s emblem and are carried by members of the organization.

“With this ‘Thank You’ event, I wanted the crews to feel and know just how much we appreciate them,” said Dan McKeaney. “The Air Methods family will always have a place in our family.”

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