Car Crash Survivor Aubrey Farnsworth Shares Special Bond with Firefighter
Farnsworth was injured in 1996 when a gravel truck ran a red light, causing a chain reaction that left two dead. Paul Bourgeois, a Mesa fire battalion chief, was one of the first responders on the scene of the accident.
"Something caused me to look north," Bourgeois said. "I saw a Suburban. I went in and I found a [little girl]. She was unconscious and unresponsive. I picked her up, took her out to the sidewalk. She was only breathing a couple times a minute, so I gave her mouth to mouth."
Although Farnsworth's injuries left her in a coma for 16 days, she eventually woke up and began to make a recovery. She still struggles with the effects of a brain injury caused by the accident, but her connection with Bourgeois has helped her to thrive.
"He's my best friend," she told the source. "He's the person that saved my life."
In the years following the accident, Bourgeois has attended Farnsworth's high school graduation and danced with her at her sister's wedding.
"The fact that she not only survived, but has overcome every obstacle that has come her way makes her a survivor," Bourgeois said. "She's the real hero."
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 16,520 people in the United States were killed in passenger car crashes in 2007, with 1,475,000 Americans injured in such accidents in 2006.
People who have survived a traumatic auto accident can find support through the Crash Survivors Network.