FOR ANYONE WHO WAS IN THE AREA AT THE TIME - IT REMAINS
A PAINFUL MEMORY.
18 YEARS AGO A MENTALLY ILL MAN WALKED ONTO A METRO
BUS ON MADISON'S WEST SIDE - POUR GASOLINE ON PASSENGERS
AND SET THE BUS ON FIRE.
THE EVENTS OF THAT DAY CHANGED THE LIVES OF MANY PEOPLE
- INCLUDING A 22-YEAR-OLD BURN UNIT NURSE AT UW-HOSPITAL.
TONIGHT - ONLY ON NEWS 3 DAVE DELOZIER SHOWS US....
LIFE FOR HER - AND HER PATIENTS CHANGED - AFTER THE
EIGHTEEN YEARS REMOVED FROM THAT DAY
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i saw this big ball of fire.
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THE QUIET BELIES THE MEMORIES.
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i heard screaming and yelling.
it was such a traumatic event, even for the whole
city of madison really.
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IT IS WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS CITY BUS THAT IS SO HARD
IT STARTED WHEN A MENTALLY ILL MAN BOARDED THE BUS
WITH A BUCKET OF GASOLINE
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walked up to a couple that was sitting down there
and dumped the gasoline on them and lit the bus on
call 9-1-1, i need some help out herre.
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SEVEN PATIENTS WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE U-W HOSPITAL
WHICH WAS WHERE A 22-YEAR-OLD ANGELA GIBSON - FRESH
OUT OF NURSING SCHOOL WAS WAITING.
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it was chaos.
we had every nurse possible that knew how to take
care of burns on our unit trying to get through that
initial resuscitation phase for the burn patients.
IN MOMENTS LIKE THIS - LIFE IS MEASURED FROM ONE SECOND
TO THE NEXT.
ANGELA'S JOB WAS TO TRY TO HELP SAVE THE LIVES OF
THE YOUNG COUPLE - WHO WERE ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED.
HER LIFE BECAME LINKED TO THEIRS - AND ALL THE PAINFUL
MOMENTS THAT CAME WITH IT.
and he was doing really poorly.
we thought we wre going to lose him and we brought
her down to say goodbye and that was really tough.
ERIC NELSON SOMEHOW SURVIVED THAT DAY - AND THE NEXT.
ANGELA CARED FOR ERIC AND HEATHER GALLAGHER FOR A
YEAR UNTIL THEY WERE RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL.
AND WHEN THEY RENEWED THEIR PLANS TO GET MARRIED -
THOSE PLANS INCLUDED ANGELA.- AS A BRIDE'S MAID.
for us to be able to get all of the occupants of the
bus through their hospital stay and see something
as joyful as a wedding...there just are not a whole
lot of words that can be said.
BEING A PART OF THAT HEALING CHANGED ANGELA.
SHE SAW HOW - IN THE HANDS OF BURN SURGEONS - LIVES
BUT FOR ANGELA TO GO FROM BURN NURSE TO BURN SURGEON
COULD MEAN GOING BACK TO SCHOOL FOR 16 LONG YEARS
- AND LONGER ODDS.
and i was told by many people that i couldn't do it.
why would i want to do that.
it was going to be forever long training, that i was
a female, that i would be able to, when was i going
have my kids? i mean it was pretty amazing all of
the nay sayers.
FORTUNATELY - ANGELA DIDN'T LISTEN TO THAT.
AFTER ALL THE YEARS - IN A LAB SHE IS DOING BURN RESEARCH.
i like being able to fix things.
AND IN THE O-R - SHE IS THE ONE NOW HEALING LIVES.
i think i see all my patients as, what if this was
my family member or my child.
you need that connection.
ITS THAT CONNECTION TO ERIC AND HEATHER THAT LED HER
NOW HER LIFE - AND THE LIVES OF HER PATIENTS ARE SHAPED
- 18 YEARS REMOVED FROM THAT DAY.
i can't imagine that, i really don't think i would
be here if that wouldn't have happened.
GIBSON PARTICIPATED IN ERIC AND HEATHER NELSON'S WEDDING
AS A BRIDE'S MAID - A YEAR LATER - THEY ATTENDED HER
AND A FOOTNOTE TO DAVE'S STORY.
WHEN ANGELA DECIDED SHE WANTED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL
TO BECOME A DOCTOR - THE MOTHER OF A FORMER BURN PATIENT
OF ANGELA'S OFFERED TO PAY FOR HER ENTIRE EDUCATION.
BECAUSE ANGELA QUALIFIED FOR THE M-D-P-H-D PROGRAM
THAT WASN'T NECESSARY - SO THE MONEY WAS PUT INTO
A SCHOLARSHIP FUND FOR OTHER BURN SURGEONS.