There was a rush of cool air, and a man leaning over her. Then a flood of bright lights. „Am I being medevacked?“ she asked. „Those are news vultures,“ the EMT told her. He shielded her face with his hand as they rushed the gurney into the ambulance. She couldn’t stop thinking of her 12-year-old. „Tell my son I love him,“ she said.

She was barely hanging on as the ER doctor prepared to insert a tube through her rib cage. „I’m really fast,“ he assured her, „and I’m going to do this as quickly as I can.“ As the nursing staff held her down, Longdon heard a dog wailing in the corner of the room. How could they allow a dog into this sterile place and let it howl like that? „The last thing I remember was realizing that it wasn’t a dog,“ she recalls. „It was me.“

Half of her ribs were shattered. Her lungs had collapsed and were filling with blood. As the ambulance screamed toward the hospital, Longdon, an avid scuba diver, clawed at the oxygen mask. She kept trying to tell them: „My regulator isn’t working. My regulator isn’t working.“ The EMT held her hand as she faded in and out.