After another average day from an eclectic collection of patients I drove home.
But on arriving at my flats I met someone who turned my average day into one of the best days ever. I met a man who lived in the set of flats next to mine who had suffered a cardiac arrest on our truck.
It is one of the jobs I want to write up soon as in itself it was amazingly interesting and strangely funny. In short though, he’d died at least once on our truck and was “shocked” three times – two of which were whilst he was semi conscious . . . with interesting results. And by the time we dropped our patient off at the hospital our ambulance looked like a dozen hand-grenades had been set off and myself, my crew mate Marvin* and the FRU, Jane* were utterly exhausted.
Like most jobs though, we never found out whether our patient lived or not. And sometimes, as I left home each day (or night) to go to work, I couldn’t help but look up at his flat and wonder.
But, here we were now, facing each other. And he was alive . . . looking healthy and normal. The hospital had done wonders on our man and he’d been discharged with some stents fitted and no signs of physical or neurological deficit.
I think he was trying to thank us all for effectively saving his life but you know what, I didn’t take it in. As soon as I realised who he was and how healthy he looked, I was over the moon . . . and didn’t hide it. I grabbed his hand, drew him in and gave him a massive man hug and was almost whooping with joy.
We continued talking for a long while and eventually said our farewells. I was buzzing. A high percentage of our work is to people who, quite frankly, don’t require an emergency ambulance. This means a small percentage do. And an even smaller percentage of these sometimes need our utmost training and skills (if we can stop plopping ourselves first that is). Some die, some don’t . . . but we rarely get to hear about the outcome. So, to actually meet a patient post cardiac arrest is quite a rare thing – and certainly something I never thought I’d have the privilege of doing.
It made my day. It certainly made my week . . . it may even of made my year. I mean, we must of done something right eh. I will now return to work in a couple of days with a new found zest and energy for helping people . . . until that is, the first string of broken fingernails and belly aches knock me back down again. But for now, lets just revel in the joy that someone actually lived.
*not their real names of course . . . . and the patient gave special thanks to them. ‘Them’??! Why not me?!!!