Thrive by IU Health

October 08, 2023

Patient celebrates stroke recovery by meeting LifeLine team who saved her

IU Health Methodist Hospital

Patient celebrates stroke recovery by meeting LifeLine team who saved her

It was on her heart from the day she was released from the hospital. Megan Johnson wanted to meet the “heroes” who came to her aid.

By TJ Banes, IU Health Senior Journalist,

There was a time when Megan Johnson’s life was measured in minutes.

IU Health LifeLine received a call at 10:20 a.m. on Aug. 28, 2021. Within minutes, Johnson’s husband, Eric arrived at Columbus Regional Airport with Megan. She was met by three LifeLine crew members including a helicopter pilot. Critical Care Nurse Mike Collins, and Paramedic Matt Davidson began working on Megan and preparing her for transport to IU Health Methodist Hospital.

The air transport lifted off at 11:07 a.m. and 20 minutes later arrived in Indianapolis.

“We try to get in the air as soon as possible,” said Collins. They believed Megan had a stroke and their focus was transporting her to Methodist’s Critical Care team as soon as possible.

Megan was recovering from COVID and was in her kitchen on that August morning when she had what she calls “a little episode.” Once she was onboard the aircraft, she remembers very little. But she does remember someone working on her that she thought was her son and someone else that she thought was her husband.

“It’s funny how the mind works,” said Megan. “I actually felt like I was on vacation. The sun was so bright on my face and the presence of the people, I just felt safe and at peace. When I got to the hospital everyone was moving so fast. Everything changed. It was like they were freaking out and I kept thinking to myself, ‘just calm down,’” she said.

At Methodist Hospital, she was in care of a team of doctors, including a neurologist. After her release, she went through rehabilitation including physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Over time, she has regained her strength and endurance and has resumed her interests - hanging with her rescue dogs, gardening, and spending time with her family. She has a daughter, Emma Johnson, 18, a son, Skylar Rush, 27, and a granddaughter.

On a recent weekday, Megan’s husband, daughter, and mother-in-law, Mona Dunn, joined her as she fulfilled a wish. She wanted to meet the LifeLine crew members who helped save her life.

She cried, as she asked them questions and expressed her gratitude. As a token of her appreciation, Megan gave Davidson and Collins mosaic crosses with the verse: “Your servant’s hearts is His work of art. Giving the best of you, in the worst of times is a testament of your spirit. Your hard work, dedication, compassion and care will never be forgotten. My heart is full of thanks and unending appreciation for you and your acts of service you choose to do each day.”

Her crew members took Megan to see the inside of one of the LifeLine helicopters. She tried to imagine what it must have been like on that day when she was swept away into the clouds.

“I know in my heart how fortunate and lucky I am,” said Megan. “I think people are in the right place at the right time. I’m glad your time was with me - every second during the ride.”

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