(WSVN) - Last year, the death of a fire captain in a Broward Sheriff’s Office helicopter crash hit home for a South Florida woman who’d only met him once. He saved her life with the help of a new BSO program, which is now helping save even more lives.

7’s Heather Walker has her story.

Aaliyah Murray spent five months in the hospital after her car crashed into a tree late one night.

Aaliyah Murray: “I broke a lot, head to toe. I ended up breaking both of my feet. Both of my knees, both my femurs, my right leg, my pelvis. Evidently, I lost a lot of blood.”

Paramedics with BSO’s Air Rescue 85 gave her blood on the way to the hospital.

Aaliyah Murray: “Without that, I would have had no chance out of survival.”

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue was the first agency in Florida to carry and administer blood to trauma victims.

James Roach, D.O., medical director for Broward Sheriff’s Office and chief of emergency medicine for Broward Health, came up with the idea after a family member was involved in a bus accident and didn’t survive.

Dr. James Roach: “We think of all of this. We think about how can we impact our community so we could save these people and they could have a chance.”

The agency says the program is keeping critical patients like Aaliyah alive long enough to make it to the emergency room.

Aaliyah Murray: “I’m fortunate because I know the BSO whole blood program was new right at the time of my accident. Had my accident been any sooner, I might not have made it.”

A few months after Aaliyah’s accident, one of the people who saved her life, Capt. Terryson Jackson, was killed when a BSO helicopter crashed on the way to another emergency.

Aaliyah was stunned when she made the connection.

Aaliyah Murray: “When I heard about Terryson, it was definitely a lot to process because, I mean, my accident is a lot to process in itself for me. But I really hate that I can never thank him in person.”

Last month, Aaliyah was able to thank the other paramedic who saved her life.

Mike Chaguaceda: “It’s amazing to meet you.”

Aaliyah Murray: “Thank you for saving my life.”

Mike Chaguaceda: “I remember the call like it was yesterday. We got requested by some of our units that were trying to take you out of the car. We gave you a unit of whole blood, which is what saved your life, or at least got you to the hospital for the trauma surgeons to work on it.”

Aaliyah Murray: “I can’t thank you guys enough for what you did for my life.”

BSO uses blood from people who donate to an organization called OneBlood. It’s kept just above freezing until it’s ready to be used. Then, it’s packed up and rushed out to an emergency.

Lt. Stephen Krivjanik is one of just a handful of paramedics who carry and administer blood to patients.

7News rode with him as he responded to a call of a man who was hit by a car and possibly bleeding internally.

The victim was loaded onto an ambulance and given blood on the way to the hospital, and BSO says it kept him stable the entire ride.

Dr. James Roach: “So we do everything we can to get them there. We know they need a surgeon, but we just want to provide them the resuscitation that’s appropriate. So when they get there, we actually provide the surgeons more time to do their work.”

BSO says it is proof that the blood program works.

And while Aaliyah still has a long road to recovery, she’s already committed to helping BSO spread the word about the program to other agencies.

Aaliyah Murray: “Now I got knowledge. Now I have knowledge. So let me get through this and then I have work to do!”

And hopefully, more life-saving help will soon be available across South Florida.

Heather Walker, 7News.

After undergoing months of treatment at Broward Health, Aaliyah created a recovery fund on GoFundMe.

You can help support BSO by donating blood. For more details, click here.

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