MADD Maryland Valiant Volunteer Spotlight – August 2021

My name Is Pamela Flanagan. I am the mother of two beautiful daughters ages 25 and 21. I worked as a medic for Baltimore County Fire and Rescue. I also worked in the pharmacy at a trauma hospital.

On Feb 4, 2019, I was involved in a motor vehicle crash due to a drunk driver. This person was speeding down the emergency ramp on the beltway. He tried to squeeze in between me and another driver he rear ended my SUV at the speed of 135 mph. He flipped my vehicle over five times and left me on the road to die. I was trapped in my vehicle, in the dirt, on the side of the road. This was the scariest thing I had ever experienced. That driver died on the scene, as he was not wearing his seatbelt and ended up being ejected out of his vehicle. Other drivers got out of their vehicles trying to free me but to no avail. I had to be extracted from my vehicle and rushed to Shock Trauma of Maryland. My family was notified, and they rushed to the hospital to find me hooked up to machines and monitors to keep me alive. By the Grace of God, eventually, I was able to return home but not without injuries that would leave me disabled for the rest of my life.

I now suffer from many physical and emotional deficits. I am living with a traumatic brain injury as well as insomnia and PTSD. I struggle with spinal, back, and neck issues. This causes me to have problems standing and walking without assistance. I also have to take over 15 different medications just to live somewhat normally. Getting by day by day has been a struggle, but I hope to be able to use this experience in order to make a difference for someone else.

1.What is your proudest achievement as a MADD volunteer?

My proudest achievement as a MADD volunteer is being able to represent and be a part of this organization. I am also proud that I have an opportunity to share my story. By doing so, I hope that it will save someone’s life. This organization has been with me and supported me since the very beginning and I am very thankful for everything they’ve done and continue to do, for not only me, but for others as well.

2. This work can be hard. What gets you out of bed in the morning to further our cause?

The one thing that gets me out of bed is knowing that the work MADD, as well as I have done is going to potentially save someone’s life. They will think of us before they make their decisions. They will hopefully use what we have taught them and remember our faces while going through their daily lives.

3. How would you describe the work you do with MADD?

I would describe it as very important. This problem will not go away, but maybe, together, we can decrease the changes of it happening again as well as decreasing the number of deaths. We can bring more awareness to this issue, because its more common than we think. It can happen to anyone. It’s very serious and the effects of this are devastating.

4. What is your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It makes you appreciate everything around you and to be thankful. Anything could be worse. I am thankful to be alive regardless of the circumstances.

5. Pineapple on Pizza – Yay or Nay? What is your favorite pizza topping?

My favorite pizza toppings are sausage, peperoni, ham, and pineapple. I love the salty and sweet combination.

Final Message: “When you get pulled over by an officer or state trooper and they take your license, thank them. They are saving a life.” If a state trooper had pulled that man over that day, none of this would have happened and he would still be here.