If you are reading this now, and didn't read yesterday's post, you really need to go back to my prior post and read that one to catch up. You can click here, The Day I Saw An Angel. I'll wait while you catch up.
OK, So I finally reached the car and what I saw was not good. I had been trained. I had practiced multiple scenarios on dummies and even on real people that were acting the part of the victim. I had ridden along and watched others do the job. I had taken the classes and passed the tests. I knew the time would come when I would be the one responsible. I knew the day would come when the job I did would hugely impact the future of the victim. I just didn't expect it to be on my very first solo run.
For about 3 seconds I stood there trying to size up the situation. I felt my pulse rising. I was terrified that every bit of training I had ever had was going to fly out of my head and be gone forever.
I wiped away as much of the broken glass that I could and crawled through the window. My patient seemed to be in her early 20's. She was hanging upside down, suspended by her seat belt. Her injuries were awful....and all over.
ABC- That's what they teach us to look at first. ABC, Airway, Breathing, Circulation. As I began to check her airway, a voice said "Her airway's clear, breathing is shallow, pulse is weak and irregular.". I looked up and there sitting on the other side of this woman was a motorist who happened to be riding down the road when the accident happened. But this wasn't just any motorist. This was the guy that had been my partner during the entire EMT class. This was the guy that had worked with me through all those scenarios we had worked on. This was the guy that I had worked with so many times that we could almost read each others minds when it came to patient care. This was MY Angel. As I looked at him, our eyes locked, he gave me a slight nod, as if to say, "You got it. You can do it." and it all came back. All of the sudden I knew exactly what to do. All the training kicked into gear and it was as if I had been doing it forever.
We got her as stable as possible while the other firefighters were cutting the car in half so that we could get her out without jostling her any more than necessary.
By the time we were able to start moving her, we had her hooked up to oxygen, neck and back stabilized, and cuts and gouges patched.
The worst of her injuries was the side of her head. That one worried me. I won't go into details that you may not want to hear but just know that I had to keep my hand on the side of her head at all times.
We got her up the hill, loaded her into the ambulance, and watched them drive away. I was helping the policemen retrieve some of the personal articles out of the car, when I noticed the driver of the car standing at the top of the hill. He was wearing handcuffs.
My partner, my angel was finishing up filling out a few forms for the policemen. As he was walking to his vehicle, he looked over at me. he gave me the same nod that he had given me in the car. Then, he gave me a tiny smile, a wink, got into his car, and left.
He doesn't work at the same station that I do. The chances of him being there were close to none. God knew without a doubt that this was going to be difficult. God knew that I knew what to do but he knew that because it was my first time, I was nervous....ok I was scared. God sent me my angel.....and I will NEVER forget that day.
I read an article in the paper a few weeks later about this young lady and the ordeal she and her family were going through. Yes, she lived. Quality of Life??? I'm not sure.
I do know that before the accident, she was a law student and a basketball player at her college. She was well liked and she had a bright future ahead of her.
Well, she did. Then she went to Kings Dominion with a guy that was a friend of hers.
They played. He got drunk.
He got very drunk.
Witnesses said that he was traveling well over 100 mph. Probably closer to 110-120. They say he was all over the road. They said he seemed to miss his exit and did a u-turn in the road. he spun around too hard. They say the car literally flew off of the embankment.
Anyway, the article was about the accident and the reporter was asking the girl's father some questions. He said she was doing a little bit better. That she was conscious and had been able to speak a few words. they were working on teaching her how to feed herself.
At the end of the article, her father was quoted saying"Think. Think before every action you make. Every move you make. If something doesn't seem right, then stop and think because if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't right. We are all responsible for our own decisions and for the choices we make. Don't throw your gifts away. Just stop and think."
Oh, and one final note, the driver, the guy in handcuffs....not a scratch on him..