OHIO – Trooper credited with saving the life of a little girl after she was struck by a vehicle, reunites with her years later as she completes her 20th surgery
On August 23, 2011 Sgt. Jeff Kaess was on patrol driving through the city of Elyria. He noticed a commotion in the roadway on Winkles Street near Clark Street. He was immediately summoned by several people to assist with a 9 year old female pedestrian that was just struck by a vehicle and was badly injured. Sgt. Kaess realized that the young girl was trapped under the vehicle’s left front tire and was bleeding profusely from her lower right leg. Sgt. Kaess has prior EMT training and immediately began treating the most serious injury. Sgt. Kaess applied pressure to femoral artery to significantly slow the bleeding until he was relieved by paramedics. Sgt. Kaess continued to follow up and maintain contact with the victim for the years following the crash. Katherine Salsbury had undergone 19 surgeries in an attempt to save her lower right leg. Sgt. Kaess was informed that Katherine had decided to have her lower right leg amputated to avoid further surgeries and complications. He then obtained permission from Katherine’s mother to come visit her in the hospital after her 20th surgery.
On February 5, 2020 Sgt. Kaess was able to meet with Katherine at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. Sgt. Kaess learned from Katherine and her mother Colleen, that he was credited with saving her life. They explained to him that even the Life Flight crew praised what Sgt. Kaess did and how that most certainly kept her alive by slowing down the blood loss. Katherine is now 16 years old and has a very bright future ahead of her.