Crew Member On Crashed Medical Helicopter Talks About Recovery


Sunday, June 9th 2013, 6:13 pm
By: News 9


Medical helicopter crews rush to emergencies every day. But one crew out of Seminole County found themselves on the other side of that scenario when their chopper crashed near Cromwell on January 2.

Now, for the first time- we are hearing from one of the survivors who is on the road to recovery. Tony Wilson was part of a four-person crew that was heading to an emergency that day, not realizing he himself was about to become the patient.

"It just happened really quick and it was pretty intense," Wilson remembers.

Wilson, a flight nurse paramedic said he doesn't like to talk about that moment when the medical helicopter went down, but instead what happened after.

"I was way out in the country, and they flew me in to our great trauma center that I'm used to going to but not as a patient," he said. "I was glad to see them."

1/2/2013 Related Story: Four Hurt In Medical Helicopter Crash Near Cromwell

Everyone survived the crash but not without injury. Wilson suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He spent two months at Craig Hospital in Colorado before coming home to Seminole just in time to welcome the birth of his son. With his family by his side, he says he is hopeful for the future.

"Of course, I want to walk again and it's my goal to do that," he said. "I can't do that yet, but it's possible and it's still early."

Along with exercises at home, Wilson travels to Oklahoma City three times a week for his rehabilitation appointments. To help with those expenses his co-workers at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital are holding a benefit raffle.

"It's kind of emotional. It makes you really appreciate friends and the people that will come out to help," Wilson said. "In a minute they'll drive up here to help us move to just get you anything you need. It's just overwhelming really."

Wilson said he's just taking his recovery day by day, but has already shown improvement, gaining some feeling and movement in his thighs.

Engine failure is believed to be the cause of the crash. 

Visit Tony Wilson's benefit Facebook page