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Woman nearly killed by drunk driver meets her life savers 1 year after horrific crash

MILWAUKEE — It was an event she didn’t even remember but will be with her for the rest of her life. Seriously injured by a drunk driver over a year ago, Jennifer Kilburn met with those who saved her life. The reunion Friday, May 24, meant just as much to those who saved her as it did to the injured woman herself.

“I lost about 2.5 liters of blood,” said Jennifer Kilburn, survivor of drunk driving crash.

It’s a moment Jennifer Kilburn will never forget even though she doesn’t remember it.

Jennifer Kilburn

“It was pretty bad, pretty horrific and I’m glad I don’t remember it,” said Kilburn.

In August of 2018, the runner and nurse was driving to work near Highway 50 and 60th Avenue, when her vehicle was slammed into by a drunk driver. Jesse Liddell had been arrested just two hours earlier for driving drunk. Kilburn was nearly killed.

“About 6:08 is when we met Jennifer,” said Joe Zarek, Flight for Life paramedic.

That’s where the EMS workers came in, remembering the details of the day Kilburn doesn’t.

Jennifer Kilburn

Jennifer Kilburn

“This is one of those cases where everything went perfectly,” said Battalion Chief Matthew Haerter, with the Kenosha Fire Department.

Matthew Haerter

For the first time, several of those who helped save Kilburn’s life met her again almost a year later. The EMS remembered Kilburn as a patient in critical condition fighting for her life.

Some had seen her in a wheelchair last fall, but it’s a different story. After months of physical therapy, Kilburn is back to work and walking.

Joe Zarek

“Not every patient has a great recovery like this and it’s really something to celebrate,” said Zarek.

“It was good to see them to show them where I’m at now,” said Kilburn.

Kilburn got to do something she hasn’t been able to yet: say thank you.

The reunion came just in time for National EMS Week (May 21-27). Kilburn is working to increase blood donation and hopes certain laws will change to help prevent drunk driving.

Jennifer Kilburn

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