In January 2017 our much-loved Flight Instructor Kristen sustained a life-altering spinal cord injury as the result of an aviation accident which occurred while she was conducting a routine training exercise with her student at the Duncan Aerodrome on Vancouver Island BC.
While her student was able to free himself from the aircraft with non-life threatening injuries, Kristen remained trapped for two hours before emergency first responders could access the aircraft and remove her from the wreckage. She was airlifted to Victoria General Hospital, and eventually to Vancouver General Hospital with critical life-threatening injuries. In the accident her cervical spine was fractured at her C6 and C7 vertebrae and her spinal cord compromised, leaving her quadriplegic with limited use of her arms and hands.
Kristen had pursued her life-long dream of becoming a Professional Pilot and began her career in Aviation as a Flight Instructor. Excelling quickly, she worked tirelessly advancing in all aspects of her career by becoming one of only a few Flight Instructors on the West Coast of Canada capable and qualified in all levels of Pilot Training. Competent with fully integrated avionics systems, and specializing in seaplane and multi instrument training, she is an extremely skilled pilot respected by her many students and colleagues. Her expertise, professionalism and poise give us no other choice but to admire her.
Prior to the accident, Kristen had been composing an article for a Canadian Aviation Magazine. In this unfinished piece she had written:
“My professional career in aviation began as many pilots before me, working as a Flight Instructor at the Victoria Flying Club. What made me unique was that I was a single mother, and I was the same age as Amelia Earhart was when she disappeared over the Pacific on the last flying adventure of her incredible life. What we had in common was the fact that we are women, we love flying, and what we dreamed to accomplish seemed impossible.”
“My advice to anyone is, dare to dream the impossible, no matter who you are or where ever you are in life!”
It is with this attitude, determination and perseverance that she approaches her lengthy road to recovery at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Center in Vancouver. There she will gain the skills necessary to live as independently as possible.
Kristen is determined to one day return to work where ever she can in the Aviation Industry. How you can help:
Kristen faces many expenses now and in the future as she adapts to life as the result of her injuries. You can help make a difference in the lives of Kristen and her family in their time of need by donating to her GoFundMe account. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated; thank you!
For altenate arrangements on how you can help, contact her support network through: firstname.lastname@example.org