Hats off to paramedics. To my mind, these people are the unsung heroes of the medical profession. I have always had a terror of ambulances. I find them profoundly disconcerting. The flashing lights and screaming sirens tell a tale of some unknown person in crisis and I feel for them. And yet my own experience of being inside an ambulance speeding off to hospital with my teenage son struggling for breath was oddly calm and kind of cocooned.
Let me tell you more. On the day in question, Joe went to school as usual. At nine,we received a call from the office saying he was unwell and being brought to the doctor. At 9.20, we received another call saying he was in distress and being taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital. All this is compounded by the fact that we live in a rural area, 15 miles from Joe’s school and and hour and half away from the hospital.
At that point, his dad and I were panicking big time. We jumped into the car and drove to town in complete silence. We arrived just in time for me to accompany Joe in the ambulance. Joe was pale, weak but thankfully conscious. He was lying on a bed in the back of the ambulance attached to an oxygen mask. He gave me the shadow of a cheeky grin and closed his eyes.
The paramedic on duty didn’t look too much older than Joe. After a few words of reassurance, he helped strap me into a seat near Joe, and continued to monitor him frequently on the trip to hospital.Each time he did a check, he gave me a big thumbs up. ‘He’s doing grand,’ he said. As we approached Killarney town, the paramedic ( whose name I never found out) did a further check on Joe.
Big thumbs up , as he leaned over to me. ‘You know what,’ he said. ‘We might stick on the old siren. They’d be no point sitting around in traffic. We might as well get to hospital and get this lad back on his feet.’
On went the siren, and we sped through Killarney and on to Tralee, with all traffic holding back and letting us through. And I sat there, beside Joe, completely OK with the fact that this was the best way to resolve any traffic issues en route. I took all my cues from that lovely paramedic. He was calm and relaxed and that helped me to stay calm. As we parted, we shook hands, ‘Don’t worry,’ he said. ‘He’s in the right place now.’ And he was. He did get sorted and back on his feet. And we got to hospital in record time with the best of care.
And so my H blog is dedicated to that amazing paramedic, and people like him everywhere. Hat’s off, a big hurrah, and heartfelt thanks!