WAUKESHA, Wis. — A nurse that was critically injured while marching in the Waukesha Christmas parade is now recovering at home.
Lori Lochen is a mother of four and a nurse who is used to caring for others. However, this holiday season those roles have been reversed as she recovers.
Lochen was marching with the Catholic Community of Waukesha during the annual Christmas Parade until she was blindsided.
"All of a sudden I heard get out of the way and all I did was turn around, look in the back of me, and I saw the headlights. I recall that and then there was an impact," said Lochen.
That impact was from what she believes was the speeding SUV pushing her straight to the ground.
"The next thing I remember was lots of voices and people in anguish screaming,"she said.
Several good Samaritans came to Lochen's side to help her.
"People were running in and out, saying don't move, help is on the way. I remember asking if this was intentional or not, and Teresa the nurse kept stroking my head saying we don't know that yet. I just want to keep breathing, keep awake," Lochen remembers.
As soon as an ambulance became available, she was rushed to the hospital.
"My injuries were critical enough to have me transferred from one hospital to the other. I did have some internal injuries, an aortic injury, and multiple fractured ribs, which was something that I required surgery for," she said.
Rebecca Rhode, her daughter, got a call she thought she'd never have to answer.
"The nurse at one of the hospitals called and she said Rebecca your mom is in critical condition and if you want to say goodbye you can and that was really tough. Nothing can ever prepare you to say goodbye to a loved one," said Rhode.
Through a miracle, Lochen was released from the hospital on Thanksgiving Day.
"I wonder why I survived. Why is it that I was spared? Yes, I was injured, but I'm expected to fully recover and I think about the families who lost their loved ones and that is what is on my mind the most right now," said Lochen.
Lochen is expected to make a full recovery and is grateful for her community in stepping up to help in every way. Her family has created a Go Fund Me page to help cover medical expenses.