Hero paramedic attends the wedding of patient seven years after he saved her life when she was hit by a car: ‘If it wasn’t for these guys, I wouldn’t be here right now’
- Paramedic attended emotional wedding of a patient after saving her life in 2015
- Tayla Bower had traumatic brain injury and unlikely to survive after hit by a car
- Simon Klass shocked to receive email from teen two years later thanking him
- Pair have part of each other’s families with Mr Klass a guest on Tayla’s big day
A paramedic has recalled the proud moment of seeing a former patient walk down the aisle, seven years after he saved her life.
Tayla Bower (nee Vann Cotte), then 16, was given little chance of survival after she was hit by a car and thrown into the air while crossing Albany Highway in Perth in 2015.
She suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent four weeks in an induced coma before the long road to learning how to walk and talk again.
The first responder on scene, St John Ambulance metropolitan operations response manager Simon Klass held her twisted and broken body together as the teen struggled to breathe.
He was told by the hospital she was unlikely to survive and was shocked to receive a letter from her two years later, wanting to meet and thank him in person.
The pair have become part of each other’s families since their emotional reunion with Mr Klass on the guestlist at her 21st birthday and recent wedding to partner Steve Bower.
Paramedic Simon Klass (right) was a proud guest Steve and Tayla Bower’s wedding, seven years after he saved her life
The paramedic admits having a tear in his eye on Ms Bowers’ big day in March.
‘Took my breath away. Genuinely breathtakingly beautiful,’ Mr Klass told the Today show on Wednesday.
‘I stood up the back because there was so many family and loved ones there but I was a little bit proud.
‘I thought I might have something a little bit to do with it all.
‘It was one of the best weddings I have been to, it was so lovely.’
Lucky to be alive, Ms Bower marks the anniversary of the life-threatening ordeal each year, despite describing the day as the worst of her life.
She was determined to track down the man who saved her life following her recovery.
‘I just thought like I needed to pay my respects and say thank you, thank you for helping me with like my recovery,’ she recalled.
‘Really, because if it wasn’t for these guys, I wouldn’t be here right now.’
‘He’s got my heart.’
Ms Bower also paid tribute to her tight-knit family.
‘They helped me push and get stronger each day,’ she said.
‘I have to give all the credit to my family. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would have been.
Tayla Bower spent four months in hospital after the near fatal accident, the first in
Simon Klass was shocked to learn two years later that Tayla had survived after being told by the hospital there was little hope
Mr Klass had to go back through his past records when he received a letter for a woman thanking him for saving her life and was shocked at the thought it may be from the patient he’d assumed didn’t make it.
‘Every time I still think about it today I get teary eyed,’ he recalled.
‘I got invited to the family’s house for a dinner and I hadn’t seen Tayla since she was looking pretty average.
The first person who came up and threw their arms around me I assumed what was Tayla and that was lovely and then mum and dad and the rest of the family I got lovely cuddles, gratitude, thanks and an instant family for me.’
Mr Klass joked he had to go the wedding to complete the screening process for the groom.
‘I had to go and remind him that he has taken over the responsibility of looking after Tayla and I had to remind him that he is punching above his weight as well,’ he said.
Ms Bower joked Mr Klass will get the task of delivering her future children after saving her life all those years ago.
Tayla Bower and paramedic Simon Klass have struck a close bond since saving her life
Mr Klass recently penned a heartfelt insight about their special bond publicly shared by St John Ambulance last week.
‘You were only 16 years old and had been hit by an inattentive driver while crossing the road,’ he wrote.
On March 13, 2022 I finally got to shed a tear.
I could not believe the stunningly beautiful young woman walking down the aisle on her wedding day was the same person.
Not only did you survive; you flourished.’
‘I have been privileged to follow your incredible recovery and I allowed myself to feel quietly proud for doing my part in helping you get down the aisle.’
Simon Klass says Tayla’s wedding (pictured with her grandma) was one of the best he’s been to