An Advocate Condell nurse who was nearly killed in a crash while driving to work in North Chicago was saved by her colleagues and returned back to work last week.
Christina Riek was driving her son and her dog to her parent’s house to drop them off before her shift on November 5.
Riek was involved in a two-vehicle crash at Waukegan Road and Hampton Boulevard, which was caused by the other driver.
Riek, who has worked at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville since 2007, suffered critical injuries.
Firefighters had to extricate her from her vehicle and paramedics rushed her to Advocate Condell Medical Center.
Riek’s son was not seriously injured but was transported to the hospital for observation.
The other driver involved was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Riek became a patient in the intensive care unit, which is where she works, after the crash.
Her injuries were so critical that her colleagues had to restart her heart after she coded, Advocate Health Care said.
Her injuries included a shattered pelvis, a large liver laceration and a severed iliac artery.
Riek received massive blood transfusions to stabilize her for emergency surgery on the severed artery.
She was later transferred to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge to undergo multiple surgeries to repair all of her injuries.
Riek was transferred back to Advocate Condell for the final phases of recovery and discharged after a month of being in the hospital.
She had to relearn how to walk with the help of physical therapy.
Riek was recently cleared last week to return to work alongside the people who saved her life, Advocate Health Care said.
“I loved being a nurse and an ICU nurse before, but now I see how essential we are. We are communicating with patients and the families and just keeping that open line of communication is so very important,” she said.