Archive for September, 2014

Today, 10 years ago…

Posted: September 11, 2014 in accident, Keanu, medical

… I was an operational Advanced Life Support Paramedic for one of the national private ambulance companies in Durban.

It was a time for me when I was at a very low point in my life. I was frustrated working in Durban, just moved from one company to another, burnt out after many years of seeing the affects of irresponsible parents when their children have drowned, drunk drivers walking away from the carnage they caused, the savage torture of innocent families during house invasions and the daily violence which has become so common it didn’t make any news stories.

This very night I met a family at their most extreme period of vulnerability, a fateful meeting which I can honestly say changed my life. Even today, looking back on 18 years of operational experience as an ALS Paramedic, I can count on one hand the cases which really effected me.

I have shared much about young Keanu https://carlsstuff.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/that-special-one/ and I can’t believe that his life changing moment which occurred at a mere 3 months old was 10 years ago. It feels like yesterday I arrived on that scene. I can still see the vehicles on the wet ground from the rain earlier in the evening, the reflection of the flashing lights from the police vehicle creating an eery feeling and the all familiar aroma of an accident scene. A distinctive smell which EMS around the world can relate to.

Looking at Keanu now, seeing how he has grown with his ever increasing challenges and the permanent effects of a massive head injury and cerebral bleeds, I’ve often thought why do we as healthcare professionals try so hard to save lives. We study for many years, have the most updated knowledge and skills to perform the impossible in the most difficult situations, only to see the long lasting effects of an injury such as this.

And then, it’s this very miraculous child, that answers my own question. He was for all intensive purposes brain dead, with the family accepting the inevitable of making the most difficult and heartbreaking decision any parent can make, and one pray changed all that.

Those who know me, will know I’m not a very religious person. I believe in a Supreme Being who created all and in salvation, but that’s as far as it goes! But…. I can honestly say, this pray worked !!!…. He woke up and lived.

His injuries has resulted in excessive long term disabilities, the latest being osteoporosis. But through all this, he has brought joy to his parents lives, a happy little boy who thrives on his mom’s love, and knowing nothing else but the love he feels from his family.

Why am I writing all this? Quite simply to assure all EMS practitioners out there, that whilst we save the lives on a daily basis, and ponder as I have as to the validity of our actions, it does make a difference. Always believe that, because despite the long term outcome and how we feel when we see that, we must always be cognitive of the fact that you have performed the ultimate act anyone can provide…. You saved a life, and allowed them to live !

Advertisements