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Crash victim visits paramedics to thank them for life-saving aid

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 19:25:11-04

BRADENTON, Fla. — Matt Reich didn’t think he was going to make it as he laid bleeding on the street. A driver hit Reich while he was riding his bicycle on Feb. 22 leaving him clinging to life.

The crash happened in Bradenton along the Tamiami Trail. Reich suffered 47 broken bones and two collapsed lungs in the accident. Two paramedics arrived at the scene and changed Reich's life forever.

“If I ever thought I shouldn’t be here, these two had different ideas," he said.

Tuesday he got to thank the two paramedics who were there to help him.

“They say I stayed calm, but I don’t remember that," he said.

Lydia Wilkinson and Karleigh Alday may look like twin sisters, but they are partners who know each other's every move.

“We can do things on scene without even talking to each other. That’s just how well we work together," said Alday.

“I usually know her next step so I’m getting everything done before she needs to do it," said Wilkinson.

Many of their cases don’t have happy endings, and when they do, the duo said they almost never hear about them. But Matt and his family wanted to make sure Lydia and Karleigh know how much they are appreciated.

“Unfortunately this happened. But I have a new outlook on life. My friends and family have been amazing. But if these two didn’t show up none of it could have happened," said Reich.

Matt spent more than two months in the hospital, including time in a medically induced coma. But he’s out and learning how to walk again. The driver who hit him was cited.