SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — For the 101st time this May, daredevils and danger will call the Indianapolis Motor Speedway home.
Indianapolis native Dr. Angi Fiege fell in love with this annual roll of the dice at an early age. She admits that sometimes the track even took precedent over high school.
“You can’t beat this place in May in Indianapolis,” Fiege said. “It is just in your blood when you are born and raised here.”
Fiege quickly made up for the absences, ascending from a flight nurse at IU Methodist Hospital to one of racing’s top minds in emergency medicine.
“A good day for me is sitting in the truck the whole time and not moving,” Fiege said. “It is great to see a driver on the worst day of their life and then see them improve to get back on the track the next year.”
Much like in Indianapolis, NASCAR thinks Dr. Fiege is an all-star too.
Recently, she was named the series’ Safety Team Medical Director which requires a season-long travel schedule.
“The first thing on our way out to an accident on the track, I am looking at the big screen for a replay of the crash,” Fiege said. “Once I reach the injured driver, I am working on checking the air way, breathing, vital signs and stopping bleeding if that were the case.”
Dr. Fiege has been through plenty on the racetrack through the years but even more off it. Dr. Fiege lost her daughter Rachael in an accident at Indiana University in 2013 before she even set foot in a classroom.
Rachael’s plan in Bloomington was to study hard enough to join her mom in a critical care role at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“She was beautiful and amazing,” Fiege said. Rachael was destined to be a nurse at IU, but unfortunately fell down a flight of stairs at an off-campus party. No one realized how badly she was injured and no one called for help until it was too late.”
Dr. Fiege’s new mission is to end the hesitance to call for help at underage drinking parties. She now travels the state reminding young people about Indiana’s lifeline law which protects underaged 911 callers from drinking citations when seeking help for a victim in need.
“If Rachael knew what I was doing, she would give me a big hug and a big smooch,” Fiege said.
Rachael would have graduated from IU this May with the class of 2017.
Do Rachael a favor and give Dr. Fiege that hug when you see her next.