Dave Massonette said God was watching out for him and the crew of ThedaStar last November after a duodenal ulcer eroded a nearby artery, causing a life-threatening internal hemorrhage.
Dave, a 57-year-old Menasha resident, arrived to work early in the morning on November 5 at Pierce Manufacturing, where he’s a welder. Instead of sitting in his truck as usual, he decided to go inside and grab something to eat from the break room. Once inside, he began vomiting blood. While no one was yet in that part of the building, Dave was able to get back to the elevator and take it to the first floor, where he kept the door open until a co-worker spotted him. He was transported to Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, where he had surgery to stop the bleeding. During surgery, he received 19 units of blood.
Two weeks later, his stitches came loose and Dave began bleeding heavily again. He needed to go to Madison for a coiling intervention to stop the arterial bleeding. I heard the nurses talking that I needed to get to Madison, but since it was snowing, they didn’t think ThedaStar would be flying,” Dave said. “One nurse said to another, ‘He won’t make it if they take him by ambulance,’ and a flight nurse happened to be walking by and said they were flying and would take me, so off I went.” Once on ThedaStar, Dave said he felt himself losing large amounts of blood.
“Then I saw a white light and met the Savior, who told me it was my decision if I wanted to stay or go back. I thought about my son who was in Afghanistan and was coming home, but I told him I would go wherever he needed me,” Dave said. “At the same time, while I was talking with God, I could hear the flight nurse ask how long it was to the hospital, and then she said, ‘That’s not soon enough.’ I then could tell the helicopter was speeding up a bit and again I told God that whatever you need me to do, I’ll do. The next thing I remember was waking up on the roof of the hospital.”
After a stay in Madison, Dave returned to Theda Clark for in-hospital rehab. He is now back at home, continuing rehabilitation and getting stronger. “I really believe that God was watching over me and the crew of ThedaStar that day,” Dave said. “There was a series of little miracles that kept me alive.”