Jill's Story video

Jill’s Story (YouTube video)


Jill Nicholson has a lot of people to thank for saving her life: the first responders who arrived quickly at the scene of her gruesome motorcycle accident, the surgeons who worked tirelessly to save her shattered leg and foot, and the many blood donors who provided the 18 units of blood she received throughout multiple surgeries.

While she has been fortunate to personally share her appreciation with many of those people she encountered following her horrific accident, Jill looked to Canadian Blood Services to help her share a message of gratitude with her anonymous blood donors. She participated in last year’s summer campaign to encourage blood donations.

“Blood donors are great people because they keep so many people alive without ever knowing them,” she said.

An avid motorcyclist, Jill was riding home from work in the Lansdowne, Ontario, area on June 11, 2012, when an SUV and trailer pulled out of a side street in front of her, causing a collision. Due to the angle of impact, Jill’s left leg was crushed between the bike and trailer before she was thrown from the bike.

She suffered seven different breaks in her leg, parts of her bone were scattered along the highway and her foot was nearly severed. Local first responders arrived quickly and worked efficiently to prepare her for an ambulance.

It was quickly determined her dire situation required the medical attention of The Ottawa Hospital. She was airlifted to the Civic campus and immediately underwent her first of six surgeries, during which she also received her first several units of blood.

Over the next week, Jill underwent dozens of hours of surgery to repair the extensive damage to the arteries and tissue in her leg and foot. During each surgery she needed several units of A-positive blood. These transfusions were in addition to the four units of O-negative blood she received immediately upon arrival before her blood type was determined.

In and out of the hospital and rehabilitation centres for the next several months, Jill miraculously regained all use and mobility of her left leg and foot. She even joined Canada’s national sitting volleyball team during her recovery!

“I still have to take care as I have nerve damage and my circulation is not as strong as it would be if I had the normal three arteries. However, because of my rehab, most people wouldn’t even know that I had been in an accident,” Jill shares.