B.C. nurse sets own broken legs while trapped in car after crash on Hwy 16

WATCH: A Prince George woman is telling a remarkable story of survival after a car accident that left her at the bottom of a cliff. John Hua has her story.

Stacie Reis had made the drive between Prince George and her hometown of Kitimat countless times without incident, but that all changed last month.

The 27-year-old’s car went off the road, careening 40 feet down an embankment.

Once she got her bearings inside the flipped car, Reis’ training as a neo-natal nurse kicked in.

“I noticed my feet were real broken,” she said. “They were twisted to the side. My little nurse brain was like, you’ve got to straighten those up because you’re going to…lose your blood supply and then you’re going to lose your legs. I just prayed for a while and so I then picked them up and I moved them. It was really painful but I did it.”

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Friends and family desperately searched for her along Highway 16 while she waited, broken and alone.

“It was a scary feeling because she was gone, she was just missing as if she disappeared from the face of the Earth,” said mother Sharon Reis.

She remained missing for 14 long hours, before friends eventually found her.

Once at the hospital, doctors told Reis the extent of her injuries: a broken sternum, ribs, and pelvis plus contusions to her heart and lungs.

As for her broken legs, doctors said the fact that she set them herself after the crash “probably played a big part in saving them.”

Reis is now on the long road to recovery, but her positive attitude has inspired friends, family and co-workers.

“I can’t imagine being hurt like that and how she has a positive look every day that she’s healing,” said co-worker Coleen Rae.

While it will be about a year before Reis walks again, the thought of getting back to the job that saved her life keeps her smiling.

“Being a patient definitely has influenced what kind of nurse I’m going to be. I think I’ll be an even better nurse when I go back.”

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-With files from John Hua

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