Mary Klug

Mary Klug, RN

Emergency Department
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, Ohio
United States

received from Jennifer Goodin, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House who knows Mary as a fellow soccer mom:

You may have already heard about this at the hospital, but just in case I wanted to let you know that one of your ER nurses, Mary Klug, literally saved a teenager’s life last weekend… while she was off-duty.

Mary’s daughter and my daughter play for the same soccer team. Throughout their game last Sunday in Middletown, we watched as skydivers cascaded to the ground and landed at an air field nearby. After the game, as we all walked to our cars, a parachutist was careening out of control and crashed to the ground in front of us at a rapid rate of speed… more than half a mile from where she was supposed to land. She landed on her legs, crushing them, and fell face forward into the ground. Mary took off running toward her.

It turned out the skydiver was a 17-year-old girl from IN on her first-ever jump. She was blue, unresponsive and covered in blood when Mary arrived at her side. A group of bystanders had gathered and someone called 911, but all were otherwise frozen with fear and did not know what to do to help.

Mary sprung into action. She located scissors and cut away the helmet’s and parachute’s straps in an effort to open her airway. Still not finding a pulse, Mary repeatedly scooped out her mouth (which was filled with dirt, blood, and broken teeth) and got her breathing again. She talked to the girl and kept her alert as the paramedics arrived. The girl kept trying to get up (she had a head injury as well and became obstinate), but Mary kept her from moving and helped her stay calm. As it turns out, the girl’s dad had also jumped from the same plane and watched her hit from his chute in the air. Once he arrived on the scene, Mary also kept him calm and informed.

The paramedics decided not to move her, so they called in air care… which took over half an hour to arrive. Mary worked seamlessly with the paramedics to provide emergency care, including stopping the bleeding and holding her legs in traction. The girl was flown to Miami Valley Hospital, where they confirmed she had broken both femurs, her pelvis and her jaw. As of yesterday, she remained in an induced coma. But I am convinced that she is alive because of Mary’s expert skills, calmness and quick thinking. If Mary had not been on the scene, I really do not think she would have survived. Amazingly, Mary had spent two days of that very week getting re-certified in field trauma, never knowing that her skills would be put to the test so soon. It was a lesson for me that the excellent training that Cincinnati Children’s provides for its employees has benefits well beyond the ER.

Mary shrugged off the accolades afterwards, humble as ever. But I wanted someone to know how Mary truly changed the outcome for this family.