BERWYN, PA - The Berwyn Fire Company received a special visit from Don Albertson and his family at the monthly fire company meeting last night. Don was the survivor of a dramatic event that took place several years ago and came to meet some of the first responders that were a part of the rescue effort.
On March 11, 2014 at the Gateway Shopping Center in Tredyffrin Township, while patrons and employees were going about their business an impaired driver crashed their car through the Famous Footwear storefront striking several people around 6 p.m. Don was directly hit by the car and became pinned between the front of the car and a wall. Don suffered major injuries, including a pelvic fracture and other broken bones. Rescuers worked diligently to extricate him in 20 minutes from the time the call was dispatched by the Chester County 9-1-1 Center. The driver was also injured and two more individuals were hit by flying glass and debris in the store. The Tredyffrin Township Police Department also assisted with the rescue operation.
Mutual aid from the Easttown Township Police Department, Radnor Fire Company and the King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company all responded as part of the response that resulted in 4 people being transported to Paoli Hospital.
Don underwent a 3-month hospitalization that involved 17 surgeries to repair his pelvis, hips and legs. This was followed by a 6-month
rehabilitation process where he fought to learn to stand and then walk again; and, finally, nearly two years of in-home and out-patient physical therapy to build the strength and balance needed to eventually move from a walker to a cane.
Despite going through a lot of pain and suffering during his road to recovery, he has maintained a positive outlook on life and became the Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer at New Horizons Life and Leadership Coaching. Don resides in the Paoli section of Tredyffrin Township with his family.
The Berwyn Fire Company would like to thank Don for his support, courage and for allowing us to share his story.