Tammy Stanley is sharing her story so that kids play safe.
Two decades ago, Constable Rich Diodati was on traffic radar duties on a city street when a young man approached him frantically seeking help for his injured sister.
Stanley was rolling blading without a helmet in a nearby park when she fell.
“I was coming down a slight incline and there was a small mud patch at the bottom,” she recalled. “It stopped me in my tracks and I was unable to catch my balance.”
Stanley was unconscious when Diodati arrived on the scene.
“She was in distress and bad shape and I called for an ambulance,” he recounted. “We took her straight St. Mike’s hospital, which has a trauma unit.”
At the hospital, surgeons removed a large blood clot from Stanley’s head.
“Had Officer Rich not been there and my brother, I would not be as functional as I am now,” said Stanley, who is a FedEx project engineer. “This one incident really changed me in that it has highlighted the importance of safety.”
Stanley recently reconnected with Diodati, who is the Community School Liaison Officer in 22 Division.
Last year while talking to a group of Girl Guide Brownies about bicycle and road safety, Diodati mentioned how he helped to save Stanley’s life.
“One of the mothers in the audience told me she thought that was her friend she thought I was talking about,” he said. “I gave her my business card and less than 24 hours later, Tammy reached out to me by e-mail.”
When she found out Diodati was working in schools, she asked if he would allow her to speak to students about safety precautions when they are out playing and having fun.
“She extended herself to me,” said Diodati. “She’s really putting herself out there to reach out to kids in schools. She wanted to share her story with kids and make a difference.”
Stanley says she hopes her story will have an impact on kids.
“I have a story I can share and hopefully prevent something of this nature or worse happening to someone out there.”