Oh Honey, I’ve Been There…SIX Times

I didn’t see the actual crash, but I imagine it went like this…

*SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH*

*CRASH*SMASH*CRASH*

I drove up just in time to see both drivers emerge from what was left of their vehicles.

One woman collapsed in the median, and the other stumbled in front of my car and collapsed on the grass next to me.

She’s the one I rushed to.

I work in an industry which requires first responder training. I’m not only trained, I’m a trainer.

Also I’m human so I will naturally stop to help anyone at anytime.

As I got to her, so did two other people wearing scrubs.

Being me, I took charge.

“Are you a nurse or doctor?” I asked each in turn.  One woman said she was a medical assistant and the man said he was a lab tech.

I pointed to the lab tech and said, “You go help her.” And gestured to the woman now sitting up in the median.  He did as I asked, sprinting across the road.

“Did anyone call 9-1-1?” I asked to the rapidly growing crowd.  Two or three people nodded that yes they had.

The medical assistant was kneeling in the grass next to the other driver and speaking in Spanish.  I asked her to stay because I don’t speak Spanish, and I thought we might need some translating.

After a few exchanges, the driver said, “I speak English.”  We asked her if there was anyone she wanted us to call and she had the medical assistant call her husband.  As the MA spoke to her husband I held the woman’s hand.

She was sobbing and complaining that her chest hurt and she couldn’t breathe.  Judging by the impact and damage to her car I wasn’t surprised.

She kept trying to get up and we kept telling her to lie still.

It was 95 degrees, and I had positioned my body so that I blocked the sun with my back.  It was getting hot, but I was so focused on this poor woman I hardly noticed.  I just knew I wanted to keep the sun off of her.

I asked her if she had any passengers.

No was the reply.

“My car, my car, it’s so messed up.” She sobbed and getting panicky at the pain and constriction she began saying over and over how she couldn’t breathe and had to get up.

I was pretty sure that her “getting up” would immediately lead to her “falling down”…unconscious.

I took her hand and stroked her hair, “Honey, it’ll be alright.  It’s just a car and you are going to be okay.”

She continued to sob and said, “My chest it hurts so bad, and my car, and I couldn’t stop..the other car, she just kept coming.  I tried to stop.  My chest, my chest..”

“I know it hurts, believe me.  I’ve been in six of these bad boys and I understand.”

Suddenly, she stopped crying and stared wide-eyed at me.  “Six? Really?”

I grinned and said, “Yep..the last one was in January of this year.”

She grinned back and squeezed my hand.  The relief on her face was noticeable as she relaxed a little.  After all, the woman holding her hand had survived six crashes..surely she would be okay.

 I heard the ambulance as it was coming towards us, so I said, “The paramedics are here and I’m going to leave you in their very capable hands now, okay?”

“Yes, and thank you very much.  You are an angel. God Bless.” She said, giving my hand a final squeeze.

As the paramedic got out of his rig I turned around to talk to him for a minute.  “She’s complaining of chest pain and difficulty breathing.”

He patted my shoulder and said, “Thank you.”

I got into my car and headed home, and that’s how my workday on Monday ended.

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Posted on August 30, 2012, in Posts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I see we’re alike like that. In my case, in the last Friday of July, I was on my way to a well-needed holiday at my favorite Hotel, Rio, Ocho Rios. An idiot on a motorcycle overtook my car and the car in front of me around a corner and went head on into a semi hauling a loaded 40 ft steel container. His helmet saved his life.

    I rushed out and completely ignored everything else and went to the man who was now lying unconscious on the road. He stirred, sat up and then attempted to stand. I took him to the side of the road and laid him down sitting against the mountainside.

    Unlike you however, I took out my camera phone and took pictures. Everybody seems to forget how important pictures of a crash can be, or forget that they can take those pictures.

    I emailed them to the motor cyclist’s insurance company when I got back to Kingston.

    I asked if anyone had called 119. (we have it in reverse here) When someone said, “Yes”, I told him not to move until the response team arrived and drove off because a crowd had now gathered around.

    On the way, I passed the response team heading full speed to the crash site.

    • I think there were quite a few camera phones in use at this crash, and I did have my hands full with a panicky driver. However, I did get out of there quickly as the ambulance arrived as these things tend to really snarl traffic and I was tired and ready to get home. Kudos to you, my friend, for being a helper. 🙂

  2. Wow. Well done. I have no training or skills to offer beyond gawking so I stay out of the way and leave it to pros like you (unless, of course, there’s no one else around).

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