Jenn Popper

Patient Story: Jenn Popper – The Summer Squall That Changed Her Life

In June 2016, what was supposed to be a beautiful kayaking day-trip in Maine turned into a nightmare that claimed the life of Jenn Popper’s husband, Michael, and almost hers, too.  The Poppers and their guide were kayaking in the Gouldsboro area of Maine where they encountered a sudden storm with high seas. Jen was the only one to survive. 

She was transported via ambulance in Prospect Harbor to a remote landing zone where LifeFlight was stationed.  She was then transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center by LifeFlight where her body temperature was 82 degrees after almost 5 hours draped over a kayak in 52 degree water. 

Recently, Jenn returned to the LifeFlight base to meet part of her clinical crew from that harrowing day.  Flight Nurse Missy McCann was on the call and Jen specifically recalls the kindness during that tragic time. 

“Missy and I talked about our lives today, and similar experiences and challenges we’ve had to overcome. It’s clear she is fearless and compassionate all at the same time. I am forever grateful for this visit, for the LifeFlight of Maine crews who help others in their greatest times of need, and especially for the chance to thank one of the people who through her actions allow me to continue to tell both my story and those of others.

There were many involved in saving my life that day who kept me from succumbing to hypothermia, from lobstermen, the Coast Guard and ambulance EMTs, to the LifeFlight crew and doctors and nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center.” 

To read more from Jenn about her visit and her journey forward after the accident, read her blog Meeting the LifeFlight of Maine First Responder who Helped Save My Life.

Missy McCann and Jenn Popper, backs to the camera, walk together
Missy McCann and Jenn Popper reunited