Here's to You!

A week or so ago I wrote an entry called “A Remarkably Heroic Feat.” It was about a police officer credited for saving a baby’s life by performing mouth to mouth on what appeared to be a child who had suffered a fairly typical febrile seizure, which may briefly convince a layperson that the patient is not breathing. The officer’s actions were widely heralded in the paper, on TV and on the radio. The quote is from a police spokesman.

Here is a story of a truly “remarkably heroic feat.”


While I was at the hospital last week, a medic from one of the volunteer towns brought in an asthmatic patient he had found in respiratory arrest.

He told me that when he arrived at the scene ahead of any of the first responders he was met at the door by a young child who said, “I think my mommy’s dead.”

He went in and found a young woman on the floor not breathing, her face purple, an inhaler in her hand.

He intubated her and did his paramedic deal. By the time he got her to the hospital, she was breathing on her own and fighting against the tube. A week later he is town in the parking lot of the local CVS when the woman’s husband gets out of a car with her twoi kids, comes over and intoduces them to the paramadeic, who he says is the man who saved mommy’s life. He tells the medic that his wife is being discharged from the hospital with no deficts — a full recovery.

Now the heroism in this story is not so much the medic doing his job, but the back story of how he came to be there to do his job. The town, a small one, which for years relied on volunteers to respond from their homes, hired him a year or so back to upgrade their service. He called the meetings, did the paperwork, put together the proposals, schmoozed the right people, stayed persistent and as a result, brought in paramedics, increased funding, updated equipment, and basicly built a new service that responds quicker and provides upgraded care — a service that was able to provid exceptional paramedic care when seconds truly mattered and that is what saved the young mother’s life.

I have not been using names in these reports, but I will break that policy here. Steve Johnson — here’s to you!

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