Laura Newberry and flight nurse Dani Konrad meet during Laura’s visit to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah a year after she sustained life-threatening injuries.

Crash survivor visits ThedaCare team members

During a recent visit to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah, Laura Newberry and her mother, Noreen, said they always knew they wanted to come back to meet with team members who they credit with saving Laura’s life.

“It means so much to be here,” said Noreen Umbreit, Laura’s mother. “All of the people who treated Laura during her stay in the hospital made this possible. Their compassion and care did not go unnoticed and we are forever grateful.”

On March 7, 2018, Laura, who was 29-years-old at the time, was in a car crash in Outagamie County. Laura sustained life-threatening injuries and ThedaStar was called to the crash site. She was taken to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah, where team members worked to stabilize her.

“It’s hard,” said Noreen. “Being in that position, of not knowing what the outcome would be. It’s important to have support. I discussed treatment options and care plans with doctors, nurses, and chaplains. You need to have a level of faith to know that everything will be all right.”

Laura’s recovery has been a journey, according to her mother. Laura spent time in the ICU while in the hospital. She was then moved to coma and brain injury recovery centers, spending more than a year in those facilities. Laura was able to come home in March 2019. One of her first visits was to ThedaCare.

“I’m thankful they kept me alive,” said Laura. “I don’t remember anything from the crash, and I appreciate the care I was given.”

Laura explained that it was important that she meet with those who helped save her life. On the day of the visit, she met with team members Nic Highfill, ThedaStar Lead Pilot, Dani Konrad, flight nurse, and Jeff Roehrig, flight paramedic. All were on Laura’s flight providing care.

“Patient visits like this bring us hope and show us miracles can happen,” said Dani Konrad, flight nurse. “We don’t often get to hear about patients after they leave our care and we always wonder about their recovery.”

For Laura and her family, the visit is a way to continue the healing process. She will be doing outpatient and physical therapy for the next few months. Laura added that she is excited for the future, which she hopes includes a career in the medical field, so she can give others the excellent care she received.