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Madison Shooting Survivor, Nurse Reunite After 22 Years

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22 years after being attacked, a Madison woman has reunited with the nurse that save her life all those years ago.

According to a news release from UW Health, Robin Kerl was attacked in June 1999 by her ex-boyfriend when she walked out of a Walmart. He killed her fiancé and seriously wounded Robin.

A UW Health Med Flight helicopter flew her to the hospital, attempting to save her life, with the crew including nurse and emergency medicine physician Kim Maerz. Maerz’s role in saving Kerl from dying was brief but important. She kept her stable long enough to pull through at the hospital.

“It’s been 22 years and I truly didn’t think she was going to make it,” Maerz said. “I can’t believe she is walking, talking, communicating and participating; the power of the human being and the will to live is Robin all over.”

The reunion happened when Maerz’s son’s girlfriend saw Kerl at the gym wearing a Med Flight shirt. She asked Kerl if she had flown in one of the helicopters and told her how she knew someone who worked with Med Flight.

Kerl asked if she could send an email to Maerz, looking to see if she could meet the crew that saved her life. Maerz said she teared up when she got the email, calling it “one of the warmest days of my career.”

The two women toured the Med Flight hanger together and sat in the newest helicopter.

“It feels so nice to finally meet Kim, the person who saved my life for me,” Kerl said in the release. “It’s such a blessing, she’s helped me in my recovery, and I thank her so much for all her help that day.”

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