Family copes with loss after death of nurse in Brainerd, Minn. helicopter crash

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A family is still working to cope with the loss of a hero after a nurse was killed last week in a helicopter crash near Brainerd, Minnesota.

Family, friends, and members of the first responders community gathered in Howard Lake on Wednesday to remember Debra Schott.

Speaking Thursday, family members told FOX 9 along with being an emergency flight nurse, Schott was a proud mother and grandmother who loved her two grandchildren with all of her heart. Now, the family of Deb Schott is trying to figure out life without her.

"I don’t think it’s really going to hit me until I head back home and I try to call mom, and she’s not there," said Kristie Collins, Schott's daughter.

Last Friday morning, Kristie Collins got a knock on her door at her home in Texas.

"I heard my dog barking, who never barks, and so I looked at the camera to see who it was," recalls Collins. "And all I saw was the uniform and was told it was my mom."

It’s been a blur since then -- calls, visits, her mom’s funeral -- as they try to come to grips with what happened.

"She’s always been my hero my inspiration my best friend," says Collins.

Since her mother’s death in the medical helicopter crash, accounts of her dedication and strength have come pouring in. That includes from Deb Schott’s last patient, the one she helped save the night she lost her own life.

"I’ve always heard stories of how awesome a nurse my mom was, so I’m just glad she saved someone's life doing what she absolutely loved."

"We also received a card from the last patient that my mom brought to the hospital, so that’s hard," says Collins. "They said she saved his life."

And while Kristie’s hero isn’t here anymore in person, she knows her mom won’t ever be forgotten.

"She loved doing her job and taking care of people just being there for anyone," says Collins.

Along with Schott, the pilot of the helicopter was also killed in the crash last Friday and a third member of the team was critically injured.