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Woman connects with Salmon Arm couple who saved her life after horrific Coquihalla crash

'They saved my life'

Kate Potts knows she is lucky to be alive.

And, earlier this week, she finally was able to contact the couple who saved her life.

The Maple Ridge woman, who also lived in Vernon for a few years, was in a horrific car accident in 2021.

And had it not been for Marylin and Jarrod Thomas, Potts would likely have died on the side of the Coquihalla Highway that fateful day.

“They saved my life, and that is something I am never going to forget,” said Potts. “They are a blessing to me and my family. They are angels that are walking on this earth.”

Potts didn't know who her saviours were and began a social media campaign to find them.

She finally found the Salmon Arm couple and expressed how grateful she was for all they had done.

Marylin and Kate have been trading messages since, and Potts plans on meeting the couple.

It was on July 11, 2021 that Potts' life changed.

She and her boyfriend were in a horrific crash that left her with a broken back, her right leg amputated below the knee and part of her right hand lost.

“I was actually ejected from the car,” she said. “I was lying on the grass when I woke up and saw my right leg was amputated on scene.”

Between the leg and hand injuries, the blood loss was severe.

Several vehicles drove by before the Thomases stopped to offer their life-saving help.

“They actually went past us, slammed on the brakes and came back,” said Potts.

She was fading in and out of consciousness from the blood loss, and Jarrod used the string from his hoodie to tie a tourniquet around Potts' leg. Her boyfriend did the same for her hand.

Marilyn had some first aid training and did what she could to to help Potts.

It took about 30 minutes for an ambulance arrive, and an air ambulance was called in to rush Potts to hospital.

She didn't know her back was broken until she felt searing pain when paramedics slipped a backboard underneath her.

“My vertebrae exploded. It was 10 to 14 hours (of surgery) to work on my back.”

She now has a prosthetic leg and has one more surgery scheduled for her hand.

The past year has been an emotional roller coaster for Potts, who recently turned 21.

“Days that I'm sitting here and not feeling the best about my body or myself I sit back and I'm like, 'I'm obviously here for a reason so I am going to live my life the best I can for Marilyn and Jarrod because they are the ones who helped me,'” she said.

“It's been a big blessing to hear from Marilyn. She didn't have to reach out but she saw that I was looking for her and wrote to me. It's a very heartwarming feeling.”

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