Casper woman grateful for the off-duty nurse who calmed her after scary car crash

By The Pulse Jun 11, 2015

After a terrifying car crash, WMC patient Vanessa Darrah sought out the off-duty nurse who stopped to calm her down. She discovered the nurse was Casey Robberson, a nurse in our surgical recovery room. Vanessa penned this testimonial to show what Casey meant to her.

Testimonial by Vanessa Darrah

It was Friday, May 8, and like any other person in their 20s, I was excited for the weekend. I had the days and nights all planned out – hanging with good friends with some much needed R&R tucked in between. But as the late great John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Wyoming Medical Center surgical recovery nurse Casey Robberson poses with post author Vanessa Darruth on May 20, 12 days after the car crash. Darruth wanted to thank Robberson personally for stopping to help and calm her, even though Robberson was off duty.

Wyoming Medical Center surgical recovery nurse Casey Robberson poses with post author Vanessa Darrah on May 20, 12 days after the crash. Darrah wanted to  personally thank Robberson for stopping, even though Robberson was off duty.

Did life have plans for me.

My little brother, Trevor (not by blood, but by friendship), and I both work as traffic clerks for K2TV. To save time and gas, we carpool to and from work. We also take our lunch breaks together, and on May 8, we had to stop by my insurance company.

When we were finished, we drove around the block and stopped for a red light at the intersection of 12th and Conwell. I pulled forward at the green light, and a car blew right through the intersection, T-boning my car at what seemed like 50 miles an hour. I happened to see it coming, but sadly not in time. I grabbed the wheel, hit the gas, and yelled for my little brother. “TREVOR!” The car hit the driver’s-side door and we spun around twice, landing on the opposite side of the road and facing the wrong direction.

I remember removing my hand from the steering wheel in an attempt to turn off my car. Instead, a sharp pain shot through my arm, and I couldn’t move my fingers. I looked to my right to see if Trevor was ok. We were both in shock.

“Are you ok?” he asked.

I lifted my arm, and it bent in a spot in which it wasn’t meant to bend. I panicked. I smelled something burning and started yelling at Trevor to turn off the car. I flung open my door, which shouldn’t have been possible with my broken arm, and started screaming for someone to call for help. I was so afraid my car was going to explode. I tried to get out and stand up, but a kind man ran over and told me the car was off and help was on its way.

That’s when Casey showed up.

Casey is a nurse at Wyoming Medical Center. She was off duty and heading home to let out her dogs. She didn’t have to stop. She didn’t have to save my sanity, but she did. In truth, I was a panicked mess. I screamed about work, and money, and a million other things that didn’t actually matter in that moment. In a flash, Casey was at my car door, holding my mangled arm in place and keeping me calm. Every time I started to panic, or tried to stand, or started to cry, she was there holding more than my arm together.

Vannessa Daruth gave nurse Casey Robberson this charm when she met her on May 20. It says: 'Nurses are angles on earth.'

Vanessa Darrah gave WMC nurse Casey Robberson this charm when she met her on May 20. It says: 'Nurses are angles on earth.'

“Look at me, it’s OK. The ambulance is coming,” she said.

“But I have to go to work.”

“Don’t worry about that right now, just focus on me.”

“I don’t have the money for this, I don’t have insurance.” By this point, I was sobbing.

“It’s OK. Don’t worry about that,” she told me. “Just focus on breathing. Focus on me.”

I noticed, then, that she had the most beautiful blue eyes. They reminded me of my dad’s, who had just passed away the month before. They were calming, they were stabilizing, they were safe. Casey stayed with me until the paramedics arrived, never letting me fall apart. And I’m pretty sure she wiped away more than a few of my tears.

I was transported to Wyoming Medical Center and prepped for surgery. Lo and behold, Casey worked in the surgical unit. She came in and asked if I remembered her. Though it took me a moment, I recognized her when I saw her blue eyes. I started to cry. She talked to me until they took me back to surgery. I don’t remember what we talked about, other than her dogs. But I know it was she, for the second time, who kept me calm.

Would I have survived if Casey hadn’t stopped to lend a hand? Yes. But I’m convinced that my mental state wouldn’t be what it was without her. You hear so many stories on the news about the horrible people in the world. Negativity and sadness surround us daily, and sometimes our faith in humanity is tested. But that single act of kindness that Casey showed me gave me more than either of us could have imagined. I have a brighter outlook on the world these days. And I try to pass on that same kindness to others. My arm was broken in that wreck, but thanks to Casey, something broken inside of me was fixed.

Vanessa Darrah, 29, has lived in Casper for 12 years. She is assistant manager of traffic at K2TV.

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