Maddison McDaniel

Jan. 30, 2023
Maddison McDaniel
Maddison McDaniel

Nurse gives life-saving care at crash scene

Maddison McDaniel was driving home on a Sunday morning in Fort Collins when she arrived upon a serious bicycle crash scene.

A man was on the ground, not breathing, and he had no pulse. She was driving alone. But by coincidence, several other health care professionals were driving by at the same time.

“It was a true miracle: The first three people that responded were nurses,” said McDaniel, neurology nurse at UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital.

They immediately stepped into action, taking turns giving CPR until an ambulance arrived. It was the first time McDaniel, who joined UCHealth as a new graduate a couple years earlier, had given a person CPR.

“You come into work and expect to see that kind of stuff,” she said, adding that it was a shocking experience. “It was very overwhelming, not what I was expecting on a Sunday morning.”

Through the care she helped give, the man survived. He was transported to a local hospital, where he received care to recover from the injuries.

McDaniel said she was shaken after the incident but appreciated the way her colleagues responded when she returned to PVH.

“I was able to talk with my co-workers,” she said. “They were so helpful and supportive, giving me my resources I needed for that.”

Annie Hellickson, nurse manager at the PVH neurology unit, said McDaniel “brings a can-do attitude on even some of the most challenging shifts” and always has her team’s and patients’ best interest in mind. She said that early in her orientation on the unit, McDaniel developed “the uncanny ability to recognize a deteriorating patient and act quickly.”

“Our patients and team are so lucky to have Maddison on the PVH neurology unit,” Hellickson said. “She is going places, and it’s only fitting she be recognized for her actions in an emergency.”

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About the author

Robert Allen loves meeting new people and learning their stories, and he's continually inspired by the patients, staff and providers he meets at UCHealth.

A journalist for 12 years, he joined UCHealth after reporting and editing at the Detroit Free Press. He is the author of Fading Ads of Detroit, a book exploring connections between classic Detroit brands found on ghost signs and in the personal histories of Detroit residents. He previously reported for the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Summit Daily News and Montrose Daily Press.

His outdoor adventures include scrambling summits, hunting powder stashes via snowboard and rafting whitewater. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Oklahoma State University and MBA from Colorado State University. He lives in Windsor with his wife, Rachel, and their obstinate pug, Darla.