Woman gets to thank first responders who helped to save her life

Bleeding control training helps save woman's life


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Sharon Blackett was too choked up to speak when she met the first responders that saved her life on Wednesday.

She said she is not only lucky to be able to walk; she is also lucky to be alive. 

"A lot of people have told me, doctors included, that it is kind of a miracle," Blackett said. 

On Father’s Day, last year, Blackett and her boyfriend, Alex Martinez, were driving home from the Keys when they were involved a car crash.

That’s when Davie fire rescue station 104 got the call. Dan Moran, the Davie Fire Rescue Battalion Chief  said it wasn't an easy case for firefighters. . 

"Along with being trapped in the vehicle, she was also suffering from a life threatening bleeding condition," Moran said. 

Their vehicle had hit the Florida Turnpike's guardrail head on. Blackett had a severed femoral artery, which provides the main arterial supply to the thigh and leg, so she was bleeding profusely. 

"I looked down and I saw my bone sticking up," Blackett said. 

Martinez had spent six years serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, and has Emergency Medical Services training, so he used his T-shirt to apply a temporary tourniquet. Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Kareem Petit-Frere had an emergency Bleeding Control kit, so he was also able to apply tourniquet.

"I received the training about two weeks prior," Petit-Frere said. 

Doctors at Memorial Regional’s Trauma Center also deserve a great deal of credit. They say they are glad they had the opportunity to help Blackett.

"We absolutely 100 percent agree that the stop the bleed kit saved her life," said Tjasa Hranjec, a trauma surgeon involved in Blackett's case. 

Blackett has had four surgeries on her leg, and she is able to walk with the help of a cane. 

"These wonderful people went above and beyond and I cant thank them enough," Blackett said. 

For more information about bleeding control training, visit The American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma's Bleeding Control site

BLEEDING CONTROL BASICS CLASS IN HIALEAH: 1 to 3 p.m., Feb. 26 at City of Hialeah Gardens, 10001 NW 87 Ave. For more information about this free class, call 305-558-4114, Ext. 237.