Metro Life Flight Saves Woman's Life — Twice
She was scared for her and for her baby. We tried to calm her down and did our thing. Her dad said, ‘Take care of my little girl again.’
Natalie Kelly credits Metro Life Flight with saving her life twice, as well as the life of her baby.
The 26-year-old Lorain woman went to an emergency room in Amherst in January with what she thought was a horrible cold. Tests and x-rays revealed she had pneumonia in both lungs, as well as sepsis. Complicating matters was the fact that Kelly was 13 weeks pregnant.
She was waiting to be transported to a hospital by ambulance when she went into a coughing attack. The physician on duty knew she needed life-saving care immediately and called Metro Life Flight.
“It was the fastest ride of my life,” Kelly said. “I was amazed by how calm they were and made me feel like everything was going to be all right.”
Her father was at the hospital with her. A recently retired firefighter, her dad knew Dr. Timothy Petrie, the physician on board.
“She was scared for her and for her baby,” said Flight Nurse Specialist Jeremy Bond. “We tried to calm her down and did our thing. Her dad said, ‘Take care of my little girl again.’”
The flight crew later learned it was not Kelly’s first ride on Metro Life Flight. She was born premature and went into respiratory distress. That time, she was flown by Metro Life Flight and spent two weeks in the hospital.
“I never thought I’d be back on Life Flight ever again. “But they were awesome. They are really an amazing team.”
Kelly was flown to University Hospitals’ main campus, where she was intubated and eventually stabilized.
She spent 18 days in the hospital and made a full recovery. She and her husband welcomed their son Henry on June 26.
“It’s touching to be part of it, knowing Life Flight took care of her when she was a baby and now we’re taking care of her and her baby,” Bond said. “It had come full circle.”
The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building and the 25 acres of green space around it are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.
MetroHealth broke ground on its new hospital in 2019. The project is being financed with nearly $1 billion the system borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 40% and its number of employees by 21%. Today, its staff of 8,000 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75% of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.