John Bosse

The People & Places Behind John’s Story

  • Pilot: Karl Hatlemark
  • Nurse: Patrick Perrault |  Medic: Dave Rudolph
  • Asset: L1 (Bangor-based Helicopter)
  • Location: St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center to Brigham & Women’s Medical Center

July 26, 2023 – by Amy Sinclair

John Bosse, 66, spent most of his career on the administrative side of healthcare as a senior director of patient financial services, but in 2021 he found himself on the other side of the healthcare system as a critically ill COVID-19 patient. 

“My family was called in twice to say goodbye,” John recalled, “once at St. Mary’s in Lewiston and a second time at Brigham and Women’s.”

John is one of more than 322,000 Mainers who contracted the disease and one of the unfortunate ones whose symptoms landed him in the hospital. 

He was admitted to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in October of 2021 to receive monoclonal antibody treatment, but instead of getting better, his condition deteriorated. His blood oxygen level was low and the medical team at St. Mary’s intubated him to help his breathing. When he failed to improve, the next step was to transfer him to a larger hospital where he could be evaluated for ECMO, a procedure that removes oxygen-depleted blood from a patient, reoxygenates it, and pumps it back into the patient. 

John Bosse (right) was able to meet and thank flight nurse Patrick Perrault (left) for caring for him during transport.

“We were transporting people all over New England to get care back then,” recalled flight nurse Patrick Perrault, who cared for John. “We took patients all over Massachusetts and sometimes New Hampshire, to whoever had a bed.”

As COVID cases escalated, LifeFlight of Maine was well-positioned to handle the emerging medical crisis because the critical-care transport provider had already been in the process of replacing 10-year-old ventilators with state-of-the-art new ones. 

LifeFlight crews have transported more than 2,500 COVID patients and the care often requires a ventilator. Patients are given pain medication, sedated, and ventilated.  “We take complete control of breathing,” said Perrault. As a result, John has no recall of his transport. 

Perrault, flight paramedic Dave Rudolph, and pilot Karl Hatlemark transported John to Brigham and Women’s Hospital on October 11, 2021, where he spent more than three weeks in the ICU.

“I know I’m very lucky to be alive,” said John. He sustained nerve damage and muscle atrophy in both legs and feet because of his long hospital stay. Following extensive inpatient and outpatient therapy, John is back to enjoying many of the things he loves. Today the husband, father of two, and grandfather of three plays hockey and golf, coaches his grandkids, and plays the drums. 

“I’m so grateful to my family and all my medical providers,” said John. He has written personal “thank you” letters to all the teams who cared for him, and he was one of several patients who attended a Seadogs game along with other LifeFlight patients and crew members celebrating LifeFlight’s 25th anniversary. Perrault was there.“I got to hug him, thank him, and ask what the trip was like,” said John. “I really wanted him to know that the work they’re doing makes a difference to all the families who have needed the LifeFlight service.”