Patients gather seven years after stage collapse to thank medical staff


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Monday marked seven years since the State Fair Stage Collapse.

The tragedy in 2011 killed seven people and injured dozens of others.

"I remember everything," said Jaymie Polet. "I remember someone coming on and telling us they may clear us, that there's some storms coming in. Wait for their call. These dark clouds moved in. There's a ton of wind coming through. I watched the tarp go off and then I watched it coming down. And, after that I was hit and I don't remember much."

Polet and her mom Jill were under that collapsed stage. Both women were badly injured.

"I broke my both my legs. I had a torn achilles and a skull fracture as well," said Polet.

Her mom suffered fractures to her face and pelvis. First responders took mother and daughter to separate hospitals.

"My mom and I were separated. My mom was taken to Methodist because no one really knew we were together. My brother and my dad were in a different country at the time. My sister was 10. When I got here, I met someone at the stage collapse that actually happened to work here in the X-ray department, and she came with me to the hospital. When I got here, that's when people started to realize she doesn't have any family here," said Polet.

But on this seven year anniversary of the tragedy, the two women came back to Indianapolis to thank those who treated them.

"I'm forever grateful to my staff in Methodist and to the staff here that took care of my daughter," said Jill Polet.

The Polet's good friend, Megan Toothman, was one of seven people who died. There are triggers that remind Jaymie Polet of that awful evening.

"In some ways, it's PTSD. When I hear sounds or think of things, I'll hear a song on the radio, and I'll think of our friend who passed away, it's little moments like that," said Jaymie Polet.

Jaymie says she is grateful for how the medical team went above and beyond during her hospital stay.

"I didn't have my mom but I had seven other moms here. It was a true sense of support and comfort because it was my home for a little bit. I feel love and supported. I just wanted my hair washed. And, one of the nurses said, ok. We're going to braid it too. They really took on that role. They brought be donuts. It was like I was their kid," said Jaymie Polet.