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Paul Rolly: Utah teen inspires the world a year after her death

Published June 6, 2014 7:30 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Reesa Kammerman died in a car accident a year ago. Her heart stopped at the scene, but a passer-by revived her. Her heart stopped again on the way to the hospital. She was revived once more. She clinically died two more times but was revived. Then, 16 days after the accident, she died and couldn't be revived.

The 16-year-old Springville girl had a tough life. Her mother left her to raise her four younger brothers when she was 9. She had been molested and raped. She tried to commit suicide several times.

Her family recently found a "selfie" video she had made on her computer shortly before her death.

I can't do it justice. Go to the family blog, kammermanfamily.blogspot.com, or to YouTube and find Reesa Kammerman to see the video. You not only will be inspired by this girl, but you also will instantly fall in love with her. You will never forget her.

In other inspiring news:

• A huge windstorm recently knocked out power to about half the homes on the 1700 East to 1800 East section of Salt Lake City's Kensington Avenue.

One of the homes belongs to an 88-year-old woman who lives alone and has a medical condition that requires her to be on oxygen most of the time.

While waiting for crews to restore power, neighbor Kandy Richards held open the woman's electric garage door while running a long extension cord from Richards' house to the elderly woman's home so she could get the juice to keep her oxygen going.

While her heroics made her late for work, Richards stayed with the neighbor until she had the electricity she needed to keep her safe.

• Bill Adams told me about his 80-year-old friend who suffered a severe headache while driving and pulled her car to a stop.

A young man, Eric Woods, was stopped at the Burger King on Highland Drive and 3300 South when he noticed the woman in her car appearing to be in distress.

He walked over and asked if she needed help. When she told him of her symptoms, he called 911 and an ambulance took her to St. Mark's Hospital.

Tests revealed subdural bleeding and she was transferred to University Hospital, where a drain was placed in her brain and a stent subsequently placed in an aneurism to maintain circulation and stop the bleeding.

The woman's friends believe Woods' actions saved her life.

• Therral Curtis, who is in his 70s, fell outside of his Midvale home and bumped his head. He has had double knee surgery and heart surgery and was unable to get back up. He also is on blood thinners and was bleeding profusely from a cut he had suffered in the fall.

Several cars stopped and the occupants helped him up. They alerted his wife, Erma, who was inside the house, and they all offered to take him to the hospital. Erma drove him herself to the emergency room, where doctors had a difficult time before finally stopping the bleeding.

They told her that if the drivers had not stopped to assist, he likely would have bled to death.

• Bob Kay was in a driver-education car recently when the engine died. The instructor and students were stuck in the intersection at 3900 South and Wasatch Boulevard.

Several workers from Tree Inc. were across the street and noticed. They ran into the intersection and pushed the car to safety.

• Katherine Yawn was driving west Tuesday morning on Highway 201. As she neared the Bangerter Highway offramp, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper pulled in front of the ongoing traffic and began swerving in and out of the lanes as a signal to slow down.

Thinking it was due to construction in the area, Yawn was annoyed because it was going to make her late for work.

The traffic slowed to 20 mph when another patrolman drove across the highway to the median. He got out of his car and then she saw the reason for the slowing.

The trooper helped a mother duck and her ducklings across the highway and safely to the shoulder. Yawn's irritation vanished.

prolly@sltrib.com