Shalyn Huehn used to dread Jan. 14, the anniversary of the frigid night her life changed forever.
“I was actually driving to celebrate my 21st birthday when I was hit head-on in a collision on the highway,” she said. “It was minus-45 out; it took two hours for them to cut me out of the vehicle.”
It was snowy and icy, which made ground ambulance options a challenge, so STARS headed to the scene.
“Thanks to STARS, they were actually able to fly to this crash site, pick me up and fly me to the hospital,” said Huehn.
She broke many bones, including both of her feet, her pelvis and her left arm, and she was in bed for three months before she could begin learning to walk again.
To make things worse, her dog Anakin died in crash, making the Jan. 14 anniversary even more difficult in the years that followed.
However, a sudden spot of light helped push the darkness aside.
“I found out I was pregnant on the anniversary of the car accident,” she beamed, holding her young daughter Annabelle. “So I could not actually look back and say that was a bad day. Jan. 14 now is forever a good day in my life.”
The pregnancy went surprisingly well.
“Because of STARS I actually get to have my miracle baby,” she said. “The doctors weren’t sure exactly how the pregnancy was going to go. With the broken pelvis, I could have been bedridden, I could have had a lot of pain, but it ended up that I had a perfect pregnancy, and now I have a perfect baby, and Jan 14 is no longer a bad day for me.”
The way Huehn changed her personal life after the accident likely helped shape her pregnancy’s success.
“I kind of pushed myself to be better than what I was before the car accident,” she explained. “I’ve done more things than I would have done before, like I’m mountain biking now; I hike a lot; I’ve done snowboarding, which I had never done before. I just don’t limit myself to what my injuries did to me. I just pushed past them.
“I just feel like I have this newfound respect for life. Like, you don’t know what could be around the corner. I live in the moment, enjoy what I have.
She’s grateful for the role STARS played in her recovery.
“I just want to say thank you,” she smile. “I’m here today because STARS was able to fly there, pick me up and fly me to a hospital, so because of them I’m married now, and I have a beautiful daughter. I just wanted to say thank you.”